Have you made your wishes known?
You don’t have to be ill or dying to make plans for your future. Indeed, it may be too late by then as nobody knows what the future has in store.
Here are six things you can do now to make it easier for you and your loved ones at the end of your life.
- Have you written a Will? Writing a Will enables you to plan what happens to your money and possessions after you die. It’s the only way you can be certain that your wishes are carried out and avoids leaving difficult legal problems behind for your family – see my article on intestacy (no Will).
- Have you recorded your funeral wishes? Have you ever thought what you want for your funeral? Do you want to be buried or cremated? Where do you want the funeral to be held? Do you want readings and, if so, which ones and read by whom? Do you want a religious or a humanitarian ceremony? There’s plenty of scope to make a final statement – if you share your funeral wishes. Also consider a pre-funded funeral plan to cap the cost of this increasingly expensive necessity.
- Do you know what sort of care and support you would like if you were dying? As we go through life, many of us will eventually need caring for. Some of us might also lose capacity to make decisions ourselves. You can talk to your family and healthcare professionals about the sort of care you would like. A Living Will and a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney help to ensure these wishes are known and acted upon.
- Do you have an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney? If you do lose capacity to make decisions for yourself, it is a laborious and expensive process to manage your financial affairs if you don’t have an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney. It’s just like writing a Will, it’s the only way you can be certain that your wishes are carried out and avoids leaving difficult legal problems behind for your family.
- Have you considered registering as an organ donor? Other people can benefit from your organs after your death if you register as an organ donor – people of all ages can register as organ donors.
- Have you discussed your wishes with your loved ones to put them in the picture? This is perhaps the single most important step. Before you finalise any of these things, consider talking them through with those close to you. This gives them the opportunity for input and means that you can begin to share your thoughts and feelings about the future.
The important documents I have discussed here need to be kept in a safe place, but, most importantly, let loved ones know what they are, what to do with them when the time comes and where they are kept.
I am a member of the Dying Matters Coalition, are you?
In my capacity as a representative of Private Client Online, I can help with the preparation of Wills, Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney. I can also recommend the best funeral plan for you. At the same time, I can help ensure these important decisions are discussed with and communicated to friends and family, so speak to me today or complete the form below.