The death of somebody close is something mightily difficult to deal with. I have two important pieces of advice to help in the aftermath of your departure, however.
Yes, talking about the subject prematurely is not a nice thing to ponder, but it is a quick process that, in the long run, you are thanked for by those closest to you.
Firstly, think of your funeral arrangements.
It will be difficult for your family if they do not know your wishes. Let them know whether you wish to be buried or cremated, whether you would like to have a memorial plaque or headstone, which undertaker you would prefer and any other particular wish you have about your funeral arrangements. Consider making a funeral plan to take the decisions about the arrangements away from your family completely.
Once notified, your undertaker will take over and make the funeral arrangements for you in consultation with your family, thereby removing a lot of work and stress from your family at this difficult time.
A funeral plan may be particularly important if you have unusual and specific wishes, or perhaps if you have no close family members to make arrangements for you.
Secondly, make a Will. Your will appoints executors whose job it would be to organise your funeral and to carry out the administration of your estate.
You will need to set out clearly how your assets are to be dealt with and divided between your beneficiaries. A will is essential if you want to benefit grandchildren or stepchildren, your partner if you are not married, family members who have special needs to be catered for or if you wish to benefit charities.
Your executors need to know where your will is kept. Contact your solicitors to advise of the death and discuss with them the administration of the estate. Handing over the legal and administrative work involved to your solicitors will save a great deal of work and remove stress and anxiety from your executors.
They will administer the estate, finalise your tax affairs and put your wishes into effect.
These two simple steps will greatly help your family, so it is well worth spending a little bit of time to make these essential arrangements.
Tilly Bailey & Irvine are accredited by The Law Society under the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme – a best practice quality mark for wills and estate administration advice that consumers can trust.