A good place to die

Arken.legal explores how best to prepare emotionally, physically, financially, and digitally this Dying Matters Awareness Week

It is Dying Matters Awareness Week (10-16 May) and this year the theme is ‘a good place to die’.

Most of us do not like to talk about dying, but it will happen to us all at some point, and if we are in a ‘good’ place, it will be much easier on those we leave behind.

Two of this year’s Dying Matters themes look at being prepared, both emotionally and physically; Samantha Warner, Head of Product at Arken.legal, experts in digital estate planning solutions, says it is best to talk to family about your wishes sooner rather than later, and consider a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), especially if there are already concerns about declining health.

“It can be difficult to broach the subject of declining health in later life, particularly if the person in question has previously managed their financial affairs quite confidently and comfortably themselves. But, given that there are already around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and someone develops dementia every three minutes, it is best to be prepared,”

she said.

“A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows someone, while they still have full mental capacity, to nominate a trusted friend or relative to make decisions on their behalf in cases of lost capacity.

“LPAs give people peace of mind that someone they trust will take care of their financial and health needs if mental capacity is lost, or, if they simply decide they no longer wish to make judgement calls about their property and finances themselves, that the burden of making those decisions can be shouldered on their behalf.”

The other key themes this Dying Matters Awareness Week are being in a good place financially and digitally, and, says Samantha, while digital assets are often not seen as being as important as some of the more traditional assets, they should be a key consideration.

“People are increasingly living in a digital world and amassing large numbers of digital assets so it is vitally important that they are a key part of any conversation about Wills and estate planning,”

she said.

“However, according to research by Dying Matters, almost 90 per cent of people have not made any plans for their social media accounts to remain once they die – and over a third of people have confirmed that no-one, other than themselves, know the password to their mobile phones.”

Arken.legal solutions enable professionals to help their clients leave clear notes and instructions as to the accessibility and handling of digital assets post-death, which not only ensures clients allocate their digital assets to their preferred beneficiaries, but it also saves a substantial amount of time when it comes to the administration process, as Samantha explains.

“Without express instructions, gaining access to digital assets and accounts can be very difficult, and if the details cannot be located, they can even be lost.

“Leaving clear instructions in a Will takes this stress away at what is already a very difficult time for those who are grieving a loved one, and Dying Matters Awareness Week offers people a really good opportunity to start that all important process.”

This article was submitted to be published by Arken.legal as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

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