Back to home page click here
HOW TO PREPARE FOR DEATH
At first thought, it might seem odd, even morbid, to prepare for your death. But, let's face it, however young you are now, however healthy you think you are now, the only certainty in life is death - so a little preparation is simply sensible. A few basic arrangements could make all the difference to your family and friends in the event of your death and, in the meanwhile, might even change your attitude to life.
- Prepare a will. This needs to be done through a qualified solicitor (or lawyer) and reviewed from time to time. Where do you want your home and savings to go? Think not just of relatives but of charities that you would like to support. Are there any personal possessions that you would like to leave to particular individuals? Make sure that copies of the will are with the executors and somewhere at home known to your partner or close friend. For advice on making a will click here.
- Prepare a living will. If you were seriously ill, are there treatments that you wouldn't want? If you were brain dead, would you want treatment to continue or not? These are terribly difficult decisions to leave to your family and it is helpful if you set out your wishes to guide them in the event that this ever proves necessary. You can obtain more information from Dignity In Dying click here.
- Plan your funeral. Do you want a religious or secular ceremony? Do you want particular pieces of music or particular hymns or prayers? Would you like certain people to officiate or speak? Do you want to be buried or cremated? It will be really helpful to your family if you make a written note of these wishes.
- Organise your finances. Keep your financial records up-to-date and accessible. Ensure that all savings can be easily located and accessed. Keep all share certificates together.
- Have all key documents readily accessible. You need to be sure that your partner or relative can easily locate things like your birth certificate, bank details, life insurance policies, house deeds, will, living will, and funeral plans. For a standard form setting out such information click here.
- From time to time, think about how you would like to be remembered when you've gone. Maybe you'd like to think that you would be recalled as a devoted partner, a loving parent, a supportive friend, a loyal colleague. If this is how you'd care to be remembered, ensure that this is how you're actually living your life. You only get one chance.
- Live each day as if it could be your last. This advice is not to be taken literally of course, but to be used as guide to living in three respects:
- In a day to day sense, you should not leave arguments or disagreements unresolved . If you were to die with antagonism between you and another, think how she would feel; if, on the other hand, that person were to die, think how you would feel.
- In a day to day sense, you should not leave expressions of love or admiration unsaid. You may assume that your partner or child or friend knows that you love them, but you cannot say it often enough. One day, you will say it for the last time and the person you leave behind will feel all the better for your recent affirmation.
- In a more medium-term sense, don't postpone things you've really wanted to do - whether it is looking up an old friend or taking a particular course or visiting a particular country. If you keep procrastinating, you may not live to do these things and, even if you're still alive, you may find that you no longer have the physical or financial resources to do them. You never know what is around the corner in your life ... and it might even be your death.
Last modified on 20 March 2009
If you have some ideas of your own e-mail me
Back to home page click here