Findings from the survey by Dying Matters include:
- 79% of people have not discussed their end of life wishes
- 64% of adults have not written a will
- 71% have not told loved ones their funeral wishes
- 71% have never thought about what will happen to their digital legacy such as social media and online accounts (and yet 11% would like their friends or a family member to keep updating their social media accounts after they die)
It is clear there is a widespread reluctance to talk about and to make sensible plans for death.
Failure to make a Will can create difficulties for your family and loved ones. If you die without a Will, intestacy rules divide up your assets in a particular order. It means that your house, savings and personal possessions are distributed under these rules rather than according to what you want.
In writing your Will, you need not only consider your children and assets. It can also encompass what happens to your digital legacy and the funeral arrangements. The more you plan what you want in advance, the easier it is for your family to follow your wishes.
It is also becoming increasingly important to think about what would happen to your finances and your affairs if you were left mentally unable to make decisions. A power of attorney keeps you in control of choosing who manages your affairs and can also cover issues of your health and welfare. It is more expensive and time consuming for your family to apply to the court to appoint someone to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated and have not drawn up a power of attorney.
This week is Dying Matters Awareness Week to raise awareness and change public attitudes to dying, death and bereavement. The theme this year is You Only Die Once. It is by planning and talking about it in advance, that you can help your family and friends before it happens and ensure you have as good a death as possible.
If you would like to discuss writing your Will or creating a Power of Attorney, please call.