Making a Will and funeral planning

Planning for what you want to happen after you die can be daunting. Documenting your wishes can make it easier for your loved ones to understand.

Making a will

A will lets you leave a record of what you want to happen to your money, property and possessions after you have died. It should explain who you want to benefit and in what way, who should look after children under the age of 18 and what happens if the people listed in the will die before you do.

You need to decide who will be executor of the will, the person who will carry out of these wishes on your behalf. You can write a will yourself, but many people get advice about this. A will needs to be witnessed and signed to make
it valid and then kept somewhere safe like your bank, with a solicitor or a company who stores wills.

Changes to an existing will are called a codicil and you can make as many as you want to, but major changes should be made in a new will which would override the old one. Marie Curie provide detailed information on the steps taken to write a will and ensure that it is valid.

Funeral planning

People often don’t think about their own funeral and some people don’t like to at all. If you do want to make some plans for what happens after you have died you could consider if you would like to be buried or cremated and where you would like this to take place.

Some people like to think about what people will wear, what will be read and what music will be playing. You can include your decisions in an advance care plan or in your will. You can keep decisions documented for family and friends in whatever way you feel is best, “dying matters” produces a leaflet where you can record key decisions.

Funerals can be expensive, and you may want to consider having the costs come out of your estate. Marie Curie has more detailed information and links to further information about funeral planning on their website.