Assisting with End-of-Life Planning for a Terminally Ill Loved One

When someone you care for has received a terminal diagnosis or is approaching the end of their life, it is essential to help them make necessary preparations. This guide offers support and guidance for creating end-of-life plans, including legal arrangements, funeral planning, and other important considerations.

  • Having Difficult Conversations about Death and Dying:

Initiating discussions about wills, legal matters, and funeral wishes can be challenging for both you and the person nearing the end of life. However, having these conversations early on can ensure that their wishes are respected. Seek support from medical professionals, hospice personnel, trusted friends, or bereavement counselors to facilitate these discussions.

  • Addressing Funeral Wishes:

Funerals can be personalized and tailored to reflect the individual’s preferences, incorporating religious or unique elements. Options include traditional services, small gatherings, or even direct cremations without a formal ceremony. Consult with a funeral arranger or draw inspiration from personalized funerals others have held to create a meaningful farewell.

  • Writing a Will:

Encourage your loved one to create an up-to-date will, specifying their desired distribution of property, possessions, and finances. Co-op Legal Services can assist in arranging wills, ensuring legal compliance and peace of mind for the individual.

  • Lasting Power of Attorney:

Consider whether appointing someone to make healthcare and legal decisions on behalf of the dying person is necessary. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables this arrangement. The government provides guidance on obtaining an LPA, and Co-op Legal Services can offer support throughout the process.

  • Financial Planning for the Funeral:

Use the funeral cost calculator to estimate potential expenses and understand what is included. If funds are set aside for the funeral, ensure easy access when needed. Discuss affordable options with a funeral director, as a meaningful funeral does not necessarily require excessive spending.

  • Probate Procedures:

Probate may be required if the person owns property or has significant funds. This legal process manages the deceased’s assets after their passing. Refer to government resources or Co-op Legal Services for guidance. Co-op Legal Services can even arrange upfront payment for the funeral from the estate, easing financial concerns.

  • Organ Donation:

Consider discussing organ donation if it aligns with their wishes and circumstances.

  • Managing Social Media and Digital Legacy:

Discuss what should happen to their online presence, including social media accounts, emails, and digital subscriptions. Understanding their preferences will help handle their digital legacy appropriately.

  • Organizing Important Information and Paperwork:

Encourage the individual to compile essential documents, passwords, and paperwork in one accessible location. This may include bank account information, insurance policies, and pension details.

Assisting someone in making end-of-life plans involves having open and sensitive conversations, understanding their wishes, and addressing legal and practical matters. By providing support and utilizing resources from Co-op Legal Services and other professionals, you can ensure a smoother transition while respecting the individual’s desires.