Five things to do before you die

Mon 9th May 2016

Blog updated: May 2018

Coodes Solicitors Partner and elderly client specialist Louise Southwell welcomes Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from 14th to 20th May 2018 and gives her five tips to help make your death as easy as possible for your loved ones.

1. Make a Will

If you don’t have a Will in place when you die then the law decides who should inherit under the Intestacy Rules. This is particularly important if you are cohabiting, as your partner may not be recognised by law.

2. Write a funeral plan

Trying to work out what kind of funeral a loved one would have wanted just adds to a bereaved family’s stress. Make it easy for them by telling them whether you would like a religious or non-religious service, or whether you want to be buried or cremated. You could even leave a statement to be read out to your family and friends.

3. Prepare for your future care and support

Think about who you would like to designate as your attorney, under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Your attorney will make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to, as a result of illness or injury. Without a designated attorney, this power could fall to your next of kin, so this is particularly important if you would like someone else to be responsible for you – like a close friend or partner.

4. Tell your family if you want to be an organ donor

You can register on the organ donor database online, but your family will have the final say about what happens to your remains. You need to tell them what your wishes are to help them make the right decision on your behalf

5. Let your loved ones know how you want to die

None of us knows what will happen to us during the final days of our lives but it is never too early to start thinking – and talking – about our wishes. Would you prefer to be cared for at home, in a hospice or in hospital? Would you want to be resuscitated after a life-changing event such as a stroke? Your wishes may not always be possible, but having a conversation with your family can help them make the best decisions for you.

For further advice and assistance on any of these issues, please contact Louise Southwell, elderly client specialist in the Wills and Probate team at Coodes Solicitors by emailing louise.southwell@coodes.co.uk or calling 01736 362294.

Mon 9th May 2016

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