Monday, 02 May 2022 – Friday, 06 May 2022 is Dying Matters Week. It’s important that we all know what it means for us and our loved ones to be in a good place to die – physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and crucially, with the right care and support in place.
This blog will be focusing on ‘Things to do before you die’ as we cover the importance of wills, power of attorney, your wishes for the future and other important decisions.
Writing your Will
Having a Will and keeping it up-to-date is so important. Many can find the thought of a Will very daunting but is only by writing down your wishes regarding what should happen after your death, in a legally-enforceable document (the Will), that you can make sure your wishes are carried out. Wills can cover many different areas, such as unique wishes in relation to our funeral arrangements and the way in which we would like our estate to be organised and distributed.
A key decision when writing your Will is who to appoint as executors (no more than four). Executors are the individuals who will be responsible for distributing your estate according to your wishes. Your executors can be friends, family members or a professional. Although a professional will incur a cost, it could spare your loved one’s additional stress.
Power of Attorney
You may decide that you would like someone to make decisions for you, or to act on your behalf on a temporary or longer-term basis. If this is something you want to explore, a ‘Power of Attorney’ could be something to think about. This is a written document authorising a person or persons to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or other legal matters. These legal documents can cover every day things such as making sure your bills are being paid, through to long term plans such as your future care and assets.
Wishes for the future
Lots of people place their wishes in writing regarding their future. This is not only useful for you to express your preferences, so your loved ones know what you want, it can also be used as a guide for Health Carers at a time when you no longer feel well enough to discuss your wishes. Many can find comfort in this and it can help to reduce stress during difficult times.
Important decisions about your care
Your future care and treatment are both things you may wish to consider and discuss. Should you decide at some point in the future that you wish to refuse treatment, we can support you.
Your wishes will be recorded in a document called ‘Advanced Decision to Refuse Treatment’. If you are 18 and over and still capable of making decisions, this document will allow you to refuse specified medical treatment in the future when you may lack the capacity to consent or refuse treatment.
Future planning gives you the opportunity to explore any fears or worries you may have and to be assured that these discussions will be held at your own pace, with the option to change your decisions or wishes at any time. If you have any further questions or you would like some support, please email our Living Well Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.