Dying Matters Awareness Week
Dying Matters Awareness Week is taking place between 13-19 May. This yearly campaign seeks to raise awareness of end of life issues. Angela Ireland, a Chartered Legal Executive in Steeles Law’s wills, probate and tax team, considers these issues.
Steeles Law is one of 30,000 members of the national Dying Matters Coalition, all of whom have an interest in supporting the changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement.
Set up by the National Council for Palliative Care in 2009, the Dying Matters Coalition aims to encourage people to talk openly about their own end of life issues with friends, family and loved ones in order to make “a good death” possible for the 500,000 people who die in England each year.
Research for Dying Matters has found that many people have specific wishes about their end of life care or what they would like to happen to them after their death, but a reluctance to discuss these issues makes it much less likely that these will be met. For example, an astonishing two-thirds of adults in the UK do not have a Will, generally because it is something we "put off" doing until another day. Within a Will, you can ensure that your money and property pass to those family members, friends and charities of your choice. Otherwise, if you do not make a Will, your estate passes according to the intestacy rules, a complex set of legal rules providing for your nearest blood relatives – not necessarily those who you would wish to provide for!
At Steeles Law, we encourage all of our clients to make a Will including their funeral wishes, as well as prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney and Advance Decisions. Having these documents in place can help your loved ones in what can be some of the most difficult and emotional times of their lives.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document allowing you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf in respect of your property and financial affairs, and also health and welfare decisions, should you become mentally incapable of dealing with your own affairs. By an Advance Decision you can specifically record what life-sustaining treatments you do not wish to receive if you become unable to communicate these wishes yourself.
By talking about Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorneys and Advance Decisions and making these important documents you can help your family and friends now with difficult decisions they may be faced with in the future.
To speak to one of our specialist members of the wills, probate and tax team please contact us.