Last week we discussed the importance of planning ahead for your death, and why the topic does not need to be ‘morbid’.
Below is part two of the ‘death checklist’ we compiled, to help you plan ahead for your death and help prevent any further stress or financial burden on your family.
6. How would you like to be cared for?
When we reach old age, if we want to ensure others know about how we want to be treated, we can make an ‘advance statement’.
This document lets you state anything you think others should know to best care for you in future, if you lose capacity to communicate them.
This could include dietary preferences, religious beliefs, where you would like to receive care (do you want to stay at home where possible), for example. They aren’t legally binding, but should be taken into account by those looking after you.
The key thing with an advance statement is storing it safely and ensuring your family and/or friends know where it is. A My Last Request subscription is ideal for this. You can detail this advance statement (and much more), storing it safely online (no risk of losing or misplacing it) until needed.
7. Planning your funeral
Death is already an emotional time, without having to then worry about the cost of a funeral and how to fund it. Funerals can be expensive, with the average cost in the UK thought to be around £3,000 – 5,000+.
A funeral plan is a way to arrange and pay for a funeral in advance. You can take out a plan to pay for your own funeral or for someone else’s.
Put simply, a funeral plan is a type of finance scheme that pays out on the holder’s death to cover some, or all of the costs of the funeral.
8. Consider a living will
‘Living will’ is a term often used to refer to an advance decision. Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, an advance decision (or living will) is a legal statement that lets you say if you don’t want certain types of medical treatment in certain situations, if you lose capacity in the future.
For example, if your heart stops in later life and you do not wish to be resuscitated. Or, if do not want to have blood transfusions, due to your religious beliefs. You can detail information like these examples in a living will.
These are free to make, and you can do so without a solicitor too. You need to be over 18 and have the mental capacity at the time of making a living will, for it to be valid.
See the Age UK website for full info.
9. Organ donation
When it comes to recording your wishes, this can beyond choosing the music at your funeral, people who you’d like to attend (or not) and the type of flowers you would like.
Organ donation is often (in our experience) something that many people feel very strongly about. Over 400 people on the UK transplant list died last year waiting for organ donation.
Currently, more than 6 out of 10 families agree to organ donation. However, it has been said that to meet the needs of patients, at least 8 out of 10 families are required to support donation to save and improve lives.
Whether you are passionate about being a donor, or you feel very strongly that you don’t want to have your organs donated; it is important your family know your exact wishes.
Everyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register regardless of age, as long as they:
- are legally capable of making the decision
- live in the UK
To find out more about organ donation, visit our blog: Your Wishes: Organ Donation.
When you die, what happens to your debt? Does it disappear? Does your next of kin have to pay it?
You may have heard people say “your debts die with you when you die…” But it’s a little more complicated than that. When you die, anything you owe has to be paid first, before any assets can go to your beneficiaries.
If you owe more than your assets are worth, your debts do die with you, as your beneficiaries will get nothing; but they won’t be asked to pay the rest of the debt.
If you’re concerned about the impact this may have, contact Citizens Advice or consult a lawyer.
If you have any tips or advice on wills, inheritance tax, funerals and setting up a power of attorney, or how to talk about the ‘unpleasant issues’ (such as death and dying), visit our Facebook page and join the conversation!