#YODO – Talking About End of Life Wishes

Talking about what happens to us after we die is not an easy thing to do.   Most of us think it is a morbid topic or something we are uncomfortable discussing. Some even think that talking about dying might make it happen!

Nevertheless, communication is important to ensure that our wishes are met after our death. Research conducted by ComRes on behalf of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2016 (source: www.dyingmatters.org) suggests that only 29% of women and 21% of men have discussed their end of life wishes with someone. How can our families carry our wishes if they do not know what we would have wanted?

Dying Matters Awareness Week encourages us to talk about our end of life wishes, put any necessary plans in place, record any specific wishes in writing and ensure that people know where to find them.

As well as thinking about funeral wishes, it can be helpful to your loved ones if you have discussed your views on organ and tissue donation. Decisions about organ and tissue donation have to be made quickly after a person had died, and your family will only know if they should be having that conversation with medical staff if it has been discussed during your lifetime.   If you do wish to be an organ or tissue donor after your death, you need to join the NHS Organ Donor Register as well as telling your closest family and friends about that decision.

Funeral wishes and wishes concerning organ donation can be recorded in your Will, or in a separate note which can be stored with your Will so that your executors know where to find it. As well as documenting you wishes, it is important to discuss them with your relatives or those who will be acting as executors. This will be invaluably helpful to them when arranging your funeral or making decisions following your death.

Decisions about end of life care and medical treatment can be recorded in a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. You can include preferences or instructions for your Attorneys about specific end of life needs. The Health and Welfare LPA also allows you to choose whether to give your Attorneys authority to make decisions on your behalf about life-sustaining treatment.

9-15 May 2016 is Dying Matters Awareness Week. None of us like to think about dying, but not talking about it won’t make it go away. Dying Matters #BigConversation and #YODO (you only die once) seeks to encourage us to talk more openly about dying – it could be one of the most important conversations you will ever have.

Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts team can give you professional advice tailored to your personal circumstances, to help you plan for the future and ensure that your affairs are in order. We can advise on Wills and Powers of Attorney to ensure that your wishes are documented. Should you require any further information, please contact Lorraine Wilson in our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Department on freephone 0800 975 2643 or send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online contact form.



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