Dying Matters Awareness Week – The Importance of Estate Planning

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This week (10th -16th May 2021) is Dying Matters Awareness Week – #DMW21.  The aim of this Awareness Week is to “open up the conversation around dying, death and bereavement.”

It is often the case that we avoid talking about death, worried that it may cause upset to our loved ones.  However, not doing so can lead to feelings of anxiety and isolation.  Family members may never know what your wishes are.  This can cause distress for everyone.

According to Dying Matters (run by Hospice UK), “the lack of openness in society has affected the quality and range of support and care services available to patients and families. It has also affected our ability to die where or how we would wish.”

Key Facts according to Dying Matters:

  • 81% of people have not written down any preferences around their own death, and only a quarter of men (25%) and just over one in three women (35%) across England have told anyone about the funeral arrangements they would like to have after they die.
  • Nearly two thirds (63%) of us would prefer to die at home, yet of the 500,000 people who die each year in England, 53% die in hospital.
  • Nearly two-thirds of people (60%) have not written a will – including a quarter (25%) of over-65s.

Reduce Stress by Talking and Planning Ahead

Perhaps one of the things we fear most about dying is the thought of losing control.  Talking to others about your wishes can reduce this stress and anxiety.  Planning ahead – dealing with financial and legal consequences of dying – may help you take back some of that control.

Covid-19 has affected so many families in the UK.  Some of us may have focused on our own mortality, others may have had to deal with the sudden loss of family member or a close friend and not being able to be with them or say goodbye in the way that they had hoped or expected.  The pandemic has proven that it is more important than ever for people to think about death, talk about it and plan for it.

Emotional distress can have a huge impact on our day to day lives and loved ones can suffer the consequences of not talking about death and a lack of estate planning.  As we see from the statistics quoted above, due to our culture and unwillingness to talk about death, making a Will is something that most people put off.

Get the Right Advice to Help Achieve your Wishes

With the right expert advice, a Will can ensure that as much of your estate as possible (your hard earned wealth) is available to pass on to your loved ones.  A Will might include a Trust so that they are provided for in a specific way.  A Will can also include details of funeral wishes so that you can have the send-off you want and ensures that certain items or sums of money are left to specific relatives, friends and charities.  It can also protect part of your estate from the cost of long-term care.

Our clients, having signed their Wills, often say that they feel like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. Having a Will in place is a way of ensuring that you are in good place to die, #InAGoodPlace.

If you want to discuss how to plan ahead and lessen the burden for your loved ones when you die, please get in touch with our Private Client team by calling 01625 614250 or by emailing enquiries@jobling-gowler.co.uk

We offer a free, no obligation, 30 minute consultation to discuss your individual requirements.