No matter what stage of your life you are at, it is important to consider planning for the end of life. Being prepared and making plans will not only ensure that your wishes are executed but will also help to protect the future of your loved ones.
Although it is not something that most people want to think about, death is an inevitable part of life that all people face, and getting everything in order sooner rather than later will provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.
To make the whole process a little less daunting and to alleviate some of the stress associated with preparing for end of life, we have put together a list of steps that you can take now to ensure that your loved ones are protected in the future.
Designate a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a designated person which attends to any financial or legal matters relating to yourself, should you fall ill or become unable to deal with them yourself for any reason.
You must designate a trusted person to be your power of attorney, as they will have access to your finances and legal matters immediately after you are declared either incompetent or incapacitated.
Prepare a Living Will
An advance decision, also known as a living will, outlines your preferences regarding the medical care you wish to receive if you are in an accident or become unexpectedly debilitated and cannot make or communicate your wishes.
Having a living will ensure you will get the healthcare that you want, and lets your loved ones know what your wishes are regarding medical treatment, alleviating the pressure of making decisions on your behalf at a difficult time.
Outline Your Funeral or Memorial Preferences
Consider where you want your body to be taken, such as a specific funeral home or mortuary, and how you want your body to be handled, whether you want to be buried or cremated, and where you want to be buried or have your ashes scattered.
If you have any preferences regarding your service, wake, how your body is handled, or the casket you want, or if you have any other specific requests, you must put this in writing and discuss your wishes with your loved ones.
Arranging a funeral is often a difficult time for family and friends who are grieving. You can give your loved ones one less thing to worry about by pre-paying for your funeral or memorial service and any other associated costs, such as a burial plot, casket, or headstone.
The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,417, based on a survey conducted in January 2020. Craven Funeral Directors have a range of funeral plans available to suit varying budgets. If you are unsure about the service you want, take a look at our range of award-winning, professional, and affordable funeral plans.
Organise Your Finances
Reduce as much of your debt as possible while you are still alive to ensure that this financial burden does not fall upon your loved ones. This includes your mortgage and any other outstanding loans that you may have.
People with young children or grandchildren often put money into a savings account, ISA or trust dedicated to them, rather than leaving them money as part of your estate. This will ensure that they get the money that you want them to have, and you can specify when you want them to have it.
Write Your Last Will and Testament
A will is a legal document that expresses your wishes as to how you want your property, known as your estate, to be distributed after your death. A will should also state who will manage your estate until its final distribution.
If you do not have a will at the time of your death, your money, property, and possessions will be distributed according to the law, rather than as per your wishes. To prevent the law from determining who gets what and how much, you must have a will.
Your will should clearly state who will manage your estate, who your money, property, and possessions should be distributed to, and who you would like to look after any children under 18 in your care at the time of your death.
Having a will also help to avoid causing any further unnecessary distress for your loved ones at an already difficult time. Find out more about writing your will, making sure it is legal, and updating your will in gov.uk guide to making a will.
Craven Funeral Directors has a long heritage, dating back to the 1920s, and remains a family-run business to this day. If you need help or advice on preparing for end of life, or if you are interested in taking out a pre-paid funeral plan, please give us a call on 0151 228 3900.