There really are no silly questions, when it comes to end of life matters...
in fact, the more questions we ask, the better. This is a highly emotive and sensitive subject that is often avoided, met with a wall of silence, fear, confusion, overwhelm which isn’t supportive for anyone.
And often at a time where it is left too late..... Important decisions need to be made along all the stages and the more informed we are, the more empowered we are to make the choices best suited for us.
Isn’t talking about death just plain morbid??
Death can be called a lot of things, but really, it's the only certainty there is in life, (and Taxes of course!)
As hard and painful as it can be to face and accept, we know that death is a completely natural part of the cycle of birth, life and death and that one day it will happen to us too, whether we want to think about it or not. We only need to take a look around at nature and recognise this.
So while we try to avoid the topic of death and put our head in the sand, as we have all done at some point, it really is good to be as prepared as we can be, for both ourselves and for the people left behind who will be dealing with all the practicalities as well as grieving.
I have experienced loved ones deaths in different scenarios and circumstances, and the most challenging times were when I (and they themselves) were not prepared either emotionally or practically.
End of life planning, how and where do I start?
Have no fear, you are not alone with feeling the overwhelming and daunting nature of this topic. I am so happy to be able to support people with clarifying the steps, here's how I work.
Why and how can I work with you?
You will be able to get the peace of mind that you need in knowing that you are prepared and informed for supporting both yourself and your loved ones, in the lead up to and at the time of death when this comes.
If you choose to work with me, I will offer you guidance and support every step of the way.
To read others' experiences of working with me, click here
What does end of life planning involve?
There are many different aspects involved, from making a Power of Attorney, to writing a Will, Advanced Directives, Digital Legacy, End of life care to Funeral planning. For more information read my blogs here or book a call with me to see how I can help clarify this for you.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
What is a Lasting Powers of Attorney and why would I need one?
If you are over the age of 18, I highly recommend putting an LPA in place. Life is unpredictable as we know, and if a person loses capacity to make decisions for themselves because of an accident, a stroke, an illness, dementia, then our loved ones will not legally be able to make those decisions for you without being named as your Attorney
Think of it like insurance, you might never need it, but if you need it, you’ll be so thankful that you did!
What or who is an Attorney?
An attorney is the person that you nominate to be responsible for decisions made in your best interest at a time where you cannot.
Isn't an Executor and an Attorney the same thing?
No they are not, but it is a very common mis-conception.
An Executor deals with a person’s Will after they have died and an Attorney is the representative for a person who has made a Power of Attorney.
Who do I ask to be my Attorney?
An Attorney needs to be over the age of 18, and somebody who you trust implicitly, as they will be responsible for making really important decisions for you, on your behalf.
It could be a family member, partner, friend, associate, or another appointed person.
What happens if I don't have anyone to ask to be my Attorney ?
Not to worry, you are not alone in asking this. Part of my service for Lasting Powers of Attorney is considering this together and finding a solution.
What does an attorney do exactly?
Making decisions in the donor’s best interest, following instructions in the LPA, making decisions together with the donor, as far as is possible, taking care of the person’s bank and financial investments, bill and other household payments, taking care of their property and pets, choosing the place where they cared for, the medical treatments and care they receive.
How many Attorneys can you have?
You can have an unlimited number of appointed Attorneys, but it could get a bit complicated and hot in the kitchen with so many cooks.
2 is usually the most common number with 2 replacements as back ups in case the original attorneys cannot continue to act as your Attorney.
What if someone loses capacity and does not have a Lasting Powers of Attorney in place?
Cue music to Psycho! Sorry for the dramatics, but it can be a costly nightmare for family and friends if this happens ….
Basically if a person loses capacity without having a Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, this means that your loved ones do not have the legal power to make decisions for you about your health treatments and care and also financial and property matters.
When it's signed is it good to go?
No. It will need to be sent off to the OPG, office of public guardian, for Registration (along with the registration fees) which is currently taking 4 months.
I've heard these forms can be a bit of a nightmare. Why is this?
Well, for starters the language and terminology they use can be confusing and a bit daunting, and
then there’s the length of the forms, 20 pages, the confusing signing order and the many do’s and don'ts when filling it out.
Do you need a lawyer or solicitor for making Lasting powers of attorney?
No, you can actually do this for yourself, but if you need any support then you can either book an Empower hour call with me
Or alternatively I can do it all for you.
This would involve meeting with you to consider what is important to you in terms of how you would wish to be cared for and treated both medically and in your day to day life and any financial and home considerations, who to choose as your Attorneys and then getting all the information together and filling out the forms for you, ready for signing and registration.
To book for the Lasting Powers of Attorney service, click here
Why do I need to make a Will?
Personally speaking from experience, to make it as easy and stress free for the people left behind, which includes those who will be responsible for having to take care of arranging all the practicalities at a most difficult time.
In terms of the legalities, in writing a will, you get to say what happens to your money, assets, property and possessions after your death (including making sure you do not pay more inheritance tax than you need to), and ensure that the people you love are taken care of.
As without a Will, the law decides who gets what, and it may not be what you would have wanted, especially in regards to having children under the age of 18
I don't have anything to leave, would I still need one?
I have heard this question asked many times by clients, (and my own sister) the answer is Yes.
Basically it leaves a big headache for the people left behind, as someone needs to organise the funeral, close your bank account, cancel your phone contract and all your utilities, contact your landlord or housing association, rehome your pets, sort through and distribute your possessions etc etc
If you die Intestate (where no Will has been left) and if there isn't a named person to do this, ie the Executor of your Will, then they would need to gain Grant of Administration to do this, which can be a lengthy and costly process. Also potential conflicts can arise between family members over possessions etc if they have not been assigned to a set person.
Should I have a Will if I have children?
Yes, yes and yes! And especially if you have children under the age of 18. Life is unpredictable, we never know what will happen or when so by writing a Will with named Guardians, then you will be ensuring that your children will be looked after at the most tragic of times.
What happens to my children if I don’t appoint a Guardian?
If you don’t appoint a Guardian for your children who are under the age of 18, then it will be down to the courts to decide who gets to care for your children. And it may not necessarily be the person you would have chosen. It is also possible that the children would go into Care whilst all this is being decided.
What is the role of an Executor?
The role of an Executor is a trusted one as they are responsible with the distribution of the person’s estate, following the instructions in the Will.
Duties can include registering the death of the person, organising the Funeral , contacting relevant government agencies, banks etc, assessing assets for Probate (if needed) , dealing with the property and distributing the assets.
Who can be a witness when signing my Will?
Anyone aged 18 and over can be a witness for a Will, but it cannot be your spouse/partner, a family member or someone who will be a beneficiary of your Will.
Can you write my Will for me?
No, I am not a qualified Will Writer, but I can support you in all the preparation for getting your Will actually written up as I know so many people never get past this stage of the process. People commonly get stuck on not knowing who to choose or ask to be their Executors or always mean to get round to doing it and never quite do.
If you are ready for getting your Will written up but don’t know who or where to go to,
I can refer you to one of my trusted and reputable contacts. Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
To book a Call with me to see how we can get you started with preparations for end of life in a relaxed and clear way, click on the Calendar below choosing a time and date that works best for you: