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Do you have your life completely organised, ready for any eventuality? Are your final wishes and important affairs in full order so that when you die, the process will be smoother for others to deal with?
Have you made your future wishes and decisions known? If you haven’t made any future plans, how would your loved ones know what decisions to make on your behalf.
This post considers why being practically organised for end of life matters at any stage in life, can be a huge help for others in the future.
What do I need to organise for my death?
There are key formal documents that people think about when discussing death.
Last will and testament
First you need to draft a will. A will or testament is a legal document that expresses a person’s wishes as to how their property is to be distributed after their death. It also states who will manage the property until its final distribution. If you don’t have a will, your possessions, money and property will be distributed according to the law – and not according to your wishes.
This important document should be drafted, regardless of your age. Consider your own circumstances and family set up. What provisions and arrangements do you need to put in place to fully protect your loved ones? If you do not have a will in place that legally states how your estate must be dealt with, make getting a will your priority.
An estate plan should sit alongside your will. It is the process of making arrangements for the management and disposal of your estate during your life, in the event of incapacity and/or death. It allows you to consider and best plan for how your finances and assets must be dealt with. It can include finance, legal and tax planning, as well as providing specific detail on the division and distribution of your assets. It is important to seek professional estate planning advice.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people (attorneys) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. We can help you arrange your LPA here. You can also make, register and end an LPA yourself online in the UK. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- health and welfare
- property and financial affairs
Advanced Care Planning
Advanced Care Planning is thinking, discussing and recording your future wishes for how you will be cared for and treated at the end of your life. Planning ahead and making sure your family know your wishes can give you both peace of mind for the future.
A funeral plan is an easy way to pre-arrange your funeral, make your choices in advance and secure the cost of the funeral at current prices. This can ensure that you have the final send off that you want. It can also reduce some of the financial worry and decision making facing your family after your death.
You should make and share your practical funeral wishes with your family too. Explain what you would like your funeral to be like and who should be there. Funerals are arranged at short notice and the need to make quick decisions whilst grieving can add enormous pressure to the bereaved.
Why do I need to be organised for my death now?
Hopefully you can see that having these documents in place are very important for life planning and to help others act on your behalf. They will ensure your wishes are followed regarding your assets and estate, support you with future decisions that will need to be made, that your care needs are clear and follow your funeral wishes. You never know when these documents will be needed so arranging them now is crucial.
You may feel overwhelmed and that this is a lot to arrange The fact is – it is! Yet they are so important that it is a task that should be prioritised. It is not something you can achieve in one day or even over a matter of weeks. Investing the time now however can alleviate the future burden on loved ones and hopefully avoid any conflict or contention.
And that is everything planned for the end of life right? Wrong. Now think about all of the practical details that make up your life. Home and family life, household instructions, important paperwork, bills and services, day to day information…the list goes on.
This is the part of life that most people do not think about or plan for when they think of end of life planning. On the other hand for the bereaved, the practical aspects are what will present some of the toughest challenges when dealing with life after a death.
How do I get organised?
The first step is seek professional advice for drafting your will and creating an estate plan. Start the conversation with your family members about LPA’s and Advanced Care Planning. The links above will guide you through the steps you need to make the necessary arrangements. Funeral Plans can be easily arranged and updated as your choices and wishes change.
There is some good news – practical end of life planning is something that you can absolutely do yourself. You just need a structured system to help you start the process and assist you with getting organised.
Create your Sunset Plan today
We have affordable products that can help you organise your life and be ready for the future. The Sunset Plan has a secure digital vault service which helps break down each practical aspect of life in to manageable sections. If you work your way through each section, organising that area of life as you go, it can provide a clear road map for others to follow when they need it. Think of it as a life directory, ready to help people locate all of your information when the time comes.
As you create your own Sunset Plan, you may find that you do not have certain documents in place. It may give you that nudge to get some of these important tasks crossed off your life’s To-Do list.
You only need to share what information you are comfortable with. If you want to create your plan and keep this private then that is absolutely fine. It is your information. You can simply let others know that you have this in hand and it will be available to them when they need it.
If you have loved one’s that you will need to act on behalf of one day, why not start the conversation around future planning with them? Help them make their own practical plans and be ready for whatever the future holds. This could really ease some of the pressure on you in the future.
Why not share this post on social media and encourage someone to plan ahead for the future?