3 July 2015 by

5 Things To Do Before You Die

We don’t usually like thinking about getting ill, and certainly not about dying, but planning ahead can really make a difference. This might not be the most exciting of bucket lists, but planning ahead will give you peace of mind and make things much easier for your loved ones. Here are 5 things we recommend you do before you die: 

1.         Make a pre-paid funeral plan           

Why leave it to your loved ones to have to decide whether you would have preferred a burial or cremation, a celebration of life rather than death, or a humanist service rather than a religious one? 

Plan your funeral beforehand and not only do you get to make your final statement, you take the weight off your loved ones shoulders when they are going through one of the most difficult times of their lives. 

Funerals aren’t cheap but you can pay in advance and even pay in instalments over months or years. 

If you do not know a local funeral director, get in touch with the National Society of Funeral Directors at www.nafd.org.uk or on 0845 230 1343. 

2.         Make a Will 

Without a Will you don’t get to decide where your money and possessions go on death; instead the law dictates who will benefit. 

A Will does not have to be complex, and you can prepare your own without the help of a solicitor, but this is not advised – your situation may be more complex than you think and there may be inheritance tax planning opportunities that you are unaware of. Solicitors also have indemnity insurance just in case something goes wrong. 

3.         Plan for your future 

We are in better shape as a population than we have ever been and we are living longer.  Unfortunately this also means that many of us will need support and care later on in life if we lose capacity to make our own decisions. 

Who would you want to look after your finances if you couldn’t? Where would you like to be cared for? Do you have any strong opinions about life sustaining treatment?

 You should think about preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney and an Advance Directive. 

4.         Be an organ donor           

People can benefit from your organs after your death.  You should sign the organ donation register if you wish to donate. For more information contact NHS Blood and Transplant at www.organdonation.nhs.uk 

5.         Finally, talk to your loved ones 

Death is often thought of as a taboo subject but talking to your loved ones and sharing your thoughts makes the experience less stressful for both you and your family.  Poor communication is often the main reason why peoples’ wishes are unfulfilled or simply ignored. 

Through talking about death, you have the opportunity to share your feelings about the future and tell them where your important documents are kept (such as your Will, financial information and funeral plan) and your family will thank you for starting the conversation when the time comes. 


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