End Of Life Planning
There is no set formula for end of life planning but one thing is for certain; don’t leave it too late.
Thinking about your end of life planning can be difficult for many. As a nation we find talking about our own mortality uncomfortable, thinking that perhaps by talking about it we are bringing it one step closer. This of course is not the case. Planning ahead is important. Whilst it is a very personal and sensitive experience, it can also be very rewarding. Not only will it put your mind at ease knowing that your wishes are documented, it is also comforting for those close to you to know that some of those difficult decisions that have to be made following the passing of a loved one, have already been taken care of.
Planning ahead for your end of life might not be something you feel particularly comfortable about or ready to talk to someone about or even plan for but there are a number of steps you can take at least to get the ball rolling.
End Of Life Planning Checklist
There is no real set way of end of life planning, although you can try our end of life planning checklist, but the first thing to do is to ensure you have an up to date Will or online Will. 70% of the adult population do not have a Will which means that if they die then they die ‘intestate’. This means that the rules of intestacy apply and the courts decide how to administer your estate and who gets what and this may not necessarily be in line with your wishes. If you have children who are under 18 then it’s even more important as without a Will the courts decide who will be the guardians of your children. If you already have a Will then make sure you review it and ensure it still reflects your wishes. Also it is very important to think about appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney; someone you can trust to make decisions on your behalf if, at some point in the future, you lose the ability to communicate your own decisions.
Advanced Statement & Living Will
It is important to think about the type of care you want towards the end of your life. What happens if you become seriously ill or are disabled. Would your loved ones know about the type of care you would like to receive or how you would like to die. An Advance Statement of Wishes, or a living Will, allows you to say how you would like to be looked after and cared for and can also include your likes and dislikes including anything that is important to you. By writing these down you are potentially saving your family from making some difficult decisions on their own later on.
Planning Your Own Funeral
Planning your own funeral may sound like you are tempting fate but in the long run you will be saving your loved ones a lot of heartache. (and with Justin Bieber recently stating his funeral wishes, it is clearly never to early to start). Some of the questions you can ask yourself are; have I told anyone whether I want to be buried or cremated? or do I want to choose a burial alternative such as having my ashes applied to an oil painting? what music I would like at my funeral, whether I want a religious service or not, who I want to attend, what I want people to wear, what music I want played; the list goes on but by having your plans in place, not only reassures your family and friends but also ensures your funeral happens the way you want it thus hopefully reducing family disputes after you are gone.
Leave A Legacy
Not to be forgotten is our own legacy; how do we want to be remembered. Think about how you want to leave a legacy. Have we said what we wanted to people, left messages of love and advice. Have we told people how much we love them, have we passed on our wisdom to the next generation. Perhaps creating a video for our loved ones for after you have gone is how you want to be remembered or maybe donating to causes you are passionate about. Either way the time do it is while you still can.
James Hickman, CEO of Lexikin says: “end of life planning, whether you are in that phase of your life or not, is highly emotive and too often we come across people who have not made their wishes clear. At Lexikin we have tried to simplify the process as much as possible and provide a unique platform which covers all areas of life planning, including end of life. Whether that be doing your own Will via our online Will questionnaire, leaving messages to your loved ones via the Your Wishes section, or leaving a legacy to charity ,we have everything covered and you can do it from the comfort of your own home”
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