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Why planning for your death is important

Dying Matters

death is not the opposite of lifeWhy is planning for your death is important?

Death & dying.

Two words we are all a little reluctant to say out loud.

They weren’t always such a taboo subject.  And in many cultures death and dying still sit in the heart of community, homelife and ritual.

I’m on a mission to help normalise conversation around this difficult subject and help individuals and families express and document their fears, concerns, and wishes.

I want everyone to be recognised as the unique individuals they each are and I want them to be able to experience their end-of-life journey as respectfully and sympathetically as it can be, taking into consideration their life story and their personal preferences.

I want to facilitate conversations amongst family members to ensure that decisions are made that support the needs of all parties involved.  That those left behind after we die have the rituals and tools they need to help them process their grief.  And that when we are dying or die, we are comforted in the knowledge that everything will be managed appropriately and respectfully.

Here are some of the reasons why planning for your death is important

So How do You Plan for Dying?

There are lots of things that it’s not too soon to put in place.  No-one knows what’s around the corner.  And just because you put something in place now does not mean you can’t change it as your circumstances change in the future.

A Will

Writing a will helps clarify what you want to do with your money, property, and possessions when you die.  To make it legally binding you need to have it formally witnessed and signed.  You can do this yourself, with the help of a solicitor or using a will-writing service.  Whatever you do, ensure that your executor knows you have one and where to find it.  And I always recommend discussing the contents if there are likely to be any surprises in there, it saves a lot of delays and emotional distress in the future.

Powers of Attorney

Until you lose capacity, a lasting power of attorney will not be enacted, but, should you have a sudden change in your circumstances and be unable to communicate, having LPA’s will ensure your interests are quickly and appropriately attended to.  I would recommend having a different person (people)  for each of your LPAs.  One for Health and Welfare, the other for Property and Finances.  You can find all you need for these here.

Quality of Life Statement

This is about people knowing what matters to you.  Not just DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate orders ) but what’s important to you, for example, you are vegetarian, you like to be surrounded by fresh cut flowers, you don’t like being in a silent room.  What about religion or spirituality? What about gender, pronouns, names?  Who matters to you?

Advanced Directives to Refuse Treatment (ADRT)

These are statements about resuscitation and CPR .  You are not able to refuse pain management treatment but there might be instances where you would not want to receive certain treatments if they were not to improve your quality of life, and you may not wish to be resuscitated or be given CPR in certain instances.  If you do not document this, the medical professional are bound by the hypocritic oath to do everything in their power to keep you alive

Organ Donation

Whilst in Wales the default is donate unless you opt out, families can still refuse on your behalf, so unless you specifically document this it may lead to additional trauma at a time of unsurmountable grief. Again, make sure you have communicated this


Do you want a funeral?  Do you want a burial, cremation, green burial.   Have you got a funeral plan?  Have you elected for a direct cremation?  Do you know this means an unattended cremation?  And if so, do your family know?  How do those you are leaving behind feel about your decision.  What do they need to help them process their loss?  What about a wake?  Or memorial?    What about lesser known options like garden burial or donation to medical research?

Social Media

This tends to live on unless you  state otherwise.  Each platform has a different policy.  On Facebook you can change the setting so your digital footprint becomes your digital legacy and assign a  ‘legacy contact’ who’ll be able to access your photos and videos if you die.

Instagram have a policy of removing the account and Twitter (X) will delete any account that is inactive for 6 months.

These are all things that need considering and leaving your passwords for if you want them managed after you are gone

Accounts, Subscriptions, Memberships

You will be amazed at how many things each of us has an account number or a log in for, from banks, insurance and utilities, to shopping sites, gaming, music, and gyms.  Unless we have all the details in one place it can be a really stressful challenge for whoever is executor of your estate.  Many companies are inaccessible without your secret codeword or name of your favourite pet (etc).  Some things like memberships will also continue to charge you after you are gone if your accounts remain open or letters will be sent if you default on payments.


There are do many things to think about here.  I have a whole selection of product that can help you navigate this.  Go to Endings Matter and My Life, My Death, My Wishes for more guides, templates, workshops and signposting.

If you have been affected by anything in this post here are some helplines that may be a useful  


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