Death is typically a taboo subject, and as such your friends and family may feel awkward bringing this up with you. But if you want the event to be less devastating for those concerned, it is particularly important to address the practicalities of your death. To save embarrassment of others, it is up to you personally to initiative the discussion and take appropriate action – such as making a will.
As well as keeping a will, ensure you keep full records of your assets and liabilities. This includes car, house, investments, mortgage, loans etc… Your executor will then know precisely what they are. This is even more important if you live alone and do not have anybody to confide in on a day to day basis. Associated documentation should be filed away and the appropriate people informed of where they are kept.
You will also need to leave your funeral arrangement instructions as well as the addresses of people that need to be informed of your death; doctor’s details, employers address etc.. You can get a ‘Instructions for my Next of Kin and Executors’ form from Age Concern, or simply compile your own using this checklist.
Please don’t wait until you are 90 to attend to this. Of course, we all would like to live an long life but you should ensure that you have taken care of matters for any eventuality.
When you are away from home, it makes sense to leave contact addresses and telephone numbers with those close to you just in case of emergencies. You should also carry details of your next of kin around with you. There is space in your passport for this information, or you could carry a next of kin card issued by the charity Next of Kin International.
Who’s in charge when I die
Your next of kin and your executor(s) are in charge when you die. If you have no will or no close relatives there can sometimes be complications.
Should I make a will
By making a Will you will ensure that your assets, no matter how small, are distributed in line with your wishes.
Making a Will
A will sets out how your estate (your assets) should be distributed, and names an executor(s) to take care of this task. A will is only valid if your signature has been witnessed by 2 adults who are not beneficiaries of the will in anyway.