How To Plan For Your Death

Jane Wardle

Written by Jane Wardle on January 30, 2019

Updated January 31, 2019

elderly couple sat down near lake

Death results in grief, financial problems and lots of other issues, particularly for those who never took time to plan for it. Thinking about the end of your life isn’t easy, but planning for it will help you remain in control of everything, including the funeral.

You might not alleviate grief after your death, but you can help loved ones left behind avoid complications once you’re gone. Critical financial preparations ensure the end of life is peaceful and that you’re able to talk about it with faith leaders, medical attendants and personal doctor, carers if any and family members.

Discuss it

Whether perfectly fit or sick, no one really wants to talk about death. The taboo topic isn’t easy to start either. However, putting it off could have serious repercussions. Find a day where together with your spouse and close family members you can discuss the issue and how you want things organised.

Firstly, create a document folder or factsheet. Its where such details as pension, bank accounts, list of properties, contacts, energy provider information among others should be kept. If you passed away suddenly, it’ll be really tough for loved ones to find this information on their own. Lack of such a factsheet could see expensive assets, savings and property getting lost.

Create a folder on your computer or anywhere such as your desk in your study without detailing your passwords. It should be in a secure place where it can be found. You can even use LifeBook by Age UK to keep track of this critical details delivered through email or booklet form.

Power of attorney

It’s not the prettiest of topics, but if health complications and other difficulties incapacitate your decision-making process, then it might never go as you would have hoped. Arranging a possible power of attorney while still well, conscious and fit, even decades in advance is highly advised.

Create a legal LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) document while still in good mental capacity by nominating a relative, friend or professional to take care of your affairs in case you lose your mental abilities.

Think about that individual you you will trust with making financial decisions on your behalf. You don’t need to let them know yet.

Inheritance tax

You need to plan inheritance tax matters early. In case you’re sure your estate will indeed have inheritance tax complications (such as property and other assets of £650,000 and above for couples or £325,000 and above for others) take time to prepare accordingly.

Planning for inheritance tax can involve any of the diverse ways of mitigating the loss of assets, such as giving some away a minimum of seven years prior to your death.

Plan your will

To many people, making a will is like a death declaration. However, there is always a right time to do so, whether you have just started a family or just retired. Regardless of the time, you need to have made a will before the end of your life. If you’ve assets, married or once married a will is critical. It shows who will be looking after your shares, money, property and estate and where specific assets should go.

A will mitigates against painful conflict among loved ones by guiding them accordingly even in your death. Your children and partner will also be well provided for.

Use a TEP (trust and estate practitioner) solicitor to help you draft a will and amend accordingly if you need to in future. Also, it is wise to make it easy to find and create a memorandum of wishes to avoid any contest of the will.

Funeral planning

It’s possible that in a decade your children might not know what you would want for your funeral considering the huge shift in religious beliefs today. To avoid family feuds after your death, prepare for your own funeral and choose the best plan possible. No matter what you want to accompany your last rights, family members will rest easy once they know it’s catered for.

Shop for the best financial scheme for your funeral such as an insurance policy or prepaid funeral plan in advance. Don’t plan alone. Talk to relatives and friends or religious minister if planning for a religious ceremony. Civil and non-religious funeral ceremonies are also options such as funeral celebrants.

Planning for your death removes the huge burden of weighty decision making from the hands of your family and friends and makes the end of life easy and peaceful without family feuds and fights.

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