What is an end of life plan?

What is an end of life plan?
How is your end of life planning?

What we offer here is part of the process of developing an end of life plan. And much of it can be just as relevant to a healthy 18 year old as to parents whose neglect of planning can mean disaster for their children and partners.   Anyway, I thought this might help people who realise they are not going to be about for ever, and want to make their (perhaps) prolonged exit as comfortable as possible – for them as well as their family and friends. And the vouchers we offer can go a long way towards getting the legal documents sorted out – Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, maybe Trusts.

I wrote this after watching a useful film from the BBC website:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/ideas/videos/should-everyone-have-an-end-of-life-plan/p099x2yh

What to put in an End of Life Planning.

Some people are “lucky” enough to depart without suffering: but even they leave behind many problems for others to sort out – or worry about for the rest of their lives.

Your end of life plan will include a number of legal documents as well as perhaps guidance notes for family and friends.  Illness can strike at any 18: do you really want to hand over control of your life to solicitors, social services and the Court of Protection if you are seriously ill or have a bad accident?

Here’s a checklist to consider, many of which should be in place for every adult.

Legal matters:

  1. An up to date and regularly reviewed Will.
  2. Financial Lasting Power of Attorney: if you think your family will be able to manage without, and joint accounts are a solution, you couldn’t be more wrong!
  3. Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney – once again, your family have no control over which care home Social Services put you in, nor medical treatment.  Social Services could control who you see, what you eat and wear – UNLESS you set one up.
  4. Trusts can be quite useful to protect assets from predatory family members or creditors – but only if set well in advance.
  5. Organ donation – why not register YOUR decision either way, so your nearest and dearest are not further stressed out by being pressed into making such decisions without knowing your views at a difficult time.

Financial Matters in your end of life plan.

  • Are life insurance and pension benefits in trust, or have you completed and updated nomination of beneficiary forms?
  • We had to get this bit in: do you have a proper prepaid funeral plan and do the people who need to know aware of it and how to action it?  Errors in that part will be financially damaging!
  • Do you have details of all your financial affairs in a secure location.  Passwords can be something of a problem, never mind access to social media accounts  or WORSE digital currency and other online assets.

3. Make a plan for what you want when you die

It’s important to consider the kind of care you would like towards the end of your life. This includes where you would like to die, whether you have any particular worries that you would like to discuss, and whether you wish to continue with any life-prolonging treatment. It’s important to do this earlier rather than later just in case you are unable to make decisions for yourself in the future. You can do this by making an Advance Decision. This can be made by anyone of sound mind over 18 years old (16 in Scotland).

You may find this Advance Personal Information checklist and form helpful. This provides some of the possible information that will be needed by your next-of-kin and your executors, allowing you to record this information and keep it up to date. Download the Advance Personal Information form now. The form is also downloadable from from the Ark Synagogue website.

4. Consider how you would like to be remembered.

What would you like people to know before (or after) you die?

  • One of the bonuses we offer if you buy a funeral plan through us is a video interview with a professional, including you and your memories and old photos, so you can be remembered for years !
  • Maybe a memory box?
  • Many, many children think they disappointed their parents (discipline often creates that feeling and it may never be lost.) Maybe a letter for those left behind telling them you love them and maybe apologising if you got things wrong.
  • Maybe leave a tiny souvenir for anyone who has helped you or is a friend. Stick little labels under suitable objects maybe?

But do it while you still can organise your end of life plan…

5. Plan your funeral arrangements: even if you can’t afford a funeral plan!

  • Buried or cremated?
  • Perhaps you would like a green funeral rather than a more traditional one. But don’t think that will be cheaper!
  • Service you would like, or maybe a celebration of your life rather than a religious ceremony. What hymns, readings or music would you like to have, and who would you like to be there? Write this down and give it to someone whom you trust, or put it in your will.  
  • If you ask me, at the moment we have a professional celebrant who will help you set up a written funeral plan FREE of charge (at present!)

Other things to think about in your end of life planning:

  • Where people die- your choice may not be viable at the time – but you can at least make your wishes known. Home nursing can put a big load on the family.
  • Hospices are wonderful places, but they are for short term care and you can’t really chose to die in one. Some offer at home services too.
  • Care or nursing homes – geared up to help but far from cheap, and rarely paid for by the National Health or Local Authorities without recourse to your assets.

Please let me know via the enquiry form if you think anything else could usefully be added/

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