what to do before a death occurs
We have many years of experience dealing with people facing death either through old age or illness. They seem to fall into two groups – those who prepare for the inevitable and organize their affairs - and those who simply do not acknowledge death may happen, possibly because they are fighting an illness, and they take no preparatory steps.
We recall in particular the sad death of a mother who had fought an illness valiantly for several years. She refused to the very end to acknowledge her condition to anyone – even her husband and children. How to deal with such issues is entirely personal of course, but as professional observers we think failing to acknowledge the possibility of death and preparing for it, causes even more trauma for loved ones, as it did in the case mentioned above.
Therefore we advise careful thought and preparatory action - if a death does occur even the fact that the deceased has prepared seems to assist the grieving process of those left behind.
What preparatory steps can be taken?
Make a will or revise an existing one to ensure it is up to date.
Grant a Power of Attorney in favour of a trusted person - if perhaps there may be some time till death the attorney can deal someone’s affairs for them if they wish. Prepare an Advance Directive instructing your doctors and those close to of your treatment preferences. Make sure you communicate this document to your welfare attorney. Guides to these documents can be found on our main website solicitorsforolderpeoplescotland.co.uk
Try to collect together all important documents relating to property, insurances, investments, debts, pensions, birth and marriage certificates memberships etc.
Make sure the whereabouts of these items and the will are known to the representatives who have been selected to deal with affairs after death and relay to them any other instructions such as interment wishes or whatever.
Write and place in safekeeping any personal messages or handwritten minor legacies – which are usually allowed for in most wills.
If you have any questions about the services that we offer please do not hesitate to contact us or telephone on 0800 152 2037
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