Long dark days with lots of time to fill?
Have you thought about what might happen if you suddenly passed away? Have you left your finances and final wishes in order?
It may feel like a tedious and rather gloomy job so why not do it now before the days get longer and more enjoyable. The daffodils are coming up already!
Make sure you have left a note of all your passwords, passport number, official documents and useful information somewhere safe where your relatives know to access it. A metal box will make it more flood and fire proof and a set of copies somewhere else is even better!
Paying for your funeral in advance is one way of sharing your funds with your family without needing to worry about “deprivation of funds” for care and inheritance tax purposes. You buy your funeral at today’s prices but you secure the services for the future. You can ensure your wishes are met and reduce financial and organisational pressure when you pass away.
A will doesn’t need to cost a fortune and there is support on how to write a free one should you prefer to do so. Some charities such as British Legion will support you with this for a donation. It is important to do this so you decide who gets your property not the state and it reduces the inheritance tax paid on a property. You can begin by making a list of your possessions and what you would like to happen to them at any point.
If you suffer from a deteriorating condition, you can instruct a “Lasting Power of Attorney” to allow the person of your choice to support you in handling your affairs. You can make the decision whilst you are still able and so ensure that your wishes are met.
Don’t forget that we could all be caught in an accident at any time so we all need to do this if we have property or / and dependents. Don’t forget to consider how you feel about organ donation too.
There is a booklet available, called “Planning Ahead” designed by the NHS with a beautiful bluebell wood on the front to cheer you up when thinking about such things. It supplies all the details and provides you with a need place to list your wishes and details. They are available in NHS settings and we have some available too. The Money Advice Service on the internet has lots of information. You can go to the library to access it if you don’t have the internet at home.
How to get urgent health care at the weekends this winter
The pressure on the NHS this year has been widely documented. The recommendation is to avoid going to accident and emergency and also to consult your pharmacist as an alternative.
The NHS have a website with much information, including when to call 111. This is the NHS non-emergency number, it is fast, easy and free. When you call 111 you will speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
I hope this will leave you feeling prepared and ready to enjoy spring it is almost here!