There are more people living alone than ever before and whether that is by choice or circumstances, it is a scenario that has complications when you are reaching the end of your life.
Discussing things like wills and probate and numerous other aspects associated with tidying up your affairs, might not be top of your agenda, but having everything sorted will often help to ease some of your fears and worries.
Dealing with inevitability
Rather than being a morbid thought it is actually a simple fact of life that every one of us is going to die at some point.
Whilst your inevitable demise is hardly likely to be the focus of your everyday thoughts while you are younger and in good health, it is never a good idea to leave your end of life planning until the last possible moment.
Rather than being a worry about the prospect of what happens to all of your things when you are gone, it is fairly simply to acquire a greater peace of mind by arranging to sort out your affairs and final wishes in good time.
When you are gone
You not only need to decide what happens after your death but also make some decisions as to who will handle your affairs if you fall ill and become unable to take care of yourself in the latter years.
One of the most important aspects of death planning is to make sure that you write your last will and testament.
This is a critical legal document which specifically sets out what you want to happen with your property and assets and who you want to pass them on to. If you die intestate, you lose control over these decisions and the government may end up getting more of your money than necessary.
Depending on how complicated your financial affairs are, a will can either be a simple document which has a few simple instructions and final wishes together with details of who you want to appoint as your Executor of the will.
The Executor is the person who is tasked with ensuring your final wishes are carried out after your death, and this normally a relative, close friend or a solicitor.
Drafting your will
If you have some property to pass on and some savings, it may be possible to use a standard DIY template and write your own will, which would then need to be witnessed by someone independent.
This is a cost-effective solution but if you want the comfort of knowing that that everything is done properly and your instructions will be executed as you wish, it is worth considering spending a bit of money with a solicitor or someone suitably qualified to professionally draw up a will that is legally sound and valid.
Living on your own
If you live on your own, make someone you trust aware of where details of your will can be found and consider writing a list of contacts that someone can access in your property if that situation arises.
If you live on your own, there is often even more of an incentive to get your affairs in order by writing a will, so that you can at least have some peace of mind that your end of life planning is in good order.
Jamie Rogers is a legal clerk. Having worked in the wills department for the past 8 years he also has knowledge in the new Living Wills which many people haven’t heard about. He has taken to writing to get this information out there, his articles appearing on eldercare, lifestyle and personal finance blogs.