No-one likes to contemplate their own death or think of the death of a loved one. It is however an important topic of conversation to have with your family and friends and is encouraged as part of the Dying Matters Awareness Week. Doing this at an early stage allows you to have an unpressured conversation at a time that suits you and not at a time of ill health or crisis.
Conversations of this nature are a prompt to discuss your affairs and the future. It can often be the trigger point for people considering their affairs and making sure they are in order by preparing wills and powers of attorney, having conversations about life support should it be required, arrangements for care, arrangements on death, burial, cremation, who will make these arrangements and possibly putting in place a funeral plan. Having these discussions early and including your family can lead to things being less problematic down the line, particularly when family dynamics come into play.
Adult children often wish to have conversations about wills or powers of attorney with their parents but can worry that this may cause upset or offence to their parents or that their parents may think they have ulterior motives for having the conversation. It is a difficult conversation to have but an important one. It can be a good opportunity for someone to explain their wishes should they not be able to make decisions for themselves in the future. Family or friends then know if they require to step in to make a decision on a loved one’s behalf that they are confident of the person’s wishes and are adhering to them.
As part of Dying Matters Week we are encouraging everyone to start the conversation – talk about what you want for the future and discuss this with your family and friends, prepare or, if there has been a change in family circumstances, review your will and if you have not done so already consider setting up a power of attorney.
Should you wish any further information on wills, powers of attorney or care costs information resources are available on our website. Should you prefer more specific advice for your personal circumstances, for example if you have a disabled beneficiary you wish to leave funds to in your will or you wish to prepare a living will or advanced medical directive, a member of our Private Client Team are on hand to answer your questions.