Preparing for late life – what should you be considering?

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The topics of old age and dying remain taboo subjects, leading to people swerving the topic completely and avoiding preparing for the inevitable. But it shouldn’t be this way – as with many things in life, putting it off won’t make it disappear, and may even make you feel anxious about it.

Getting prepared and seeking advice will help alleviate your fears and leave you feeling like you can live in the present with peace of mind. There are a number of things you can do to feel secure and that you have made the appropriate arrangements for the future.

Make a will

Getting a will organised is one of the more important things you can do to get your estate in order for your family. Making a will means the decision of who inherits your possessions is in your hands, you can appoint an executor to wind up your estate and you can also record your wishes for your funeral. Once you make a will you need to update it when circumstances change – for instance, if you get married or remarry any current will you have in place will become invalid automatically.

Make a living will

Unfortunately, there may come a time when you’re unable to communicate your wishes to the people responsible for caring for you. In this instance, having a living will (or Advance Decision) in place to make your views on certain medical treatments clear can be very helpful. An Advance Decision will only be put into action if you’re unable to speak for yourself.

Talk to your family

No matter your age, sitting down and having an honest conversation with your family could save a lot of headaches and heartache later on. Cover topics such as organ donation, funeral wishes and situations whereby you could become ill and incapacitated and you’ll have a much clearer idea of where each other stands. Communication is absolutely key – be open, honest and transparent and it will make things far easier.

Organise your finances

Save money, get all of your debts paid off before you retire and make sure you know all the details of pension plans you may have. You may need the help of pensions and savings if you need costly medical care later in life so it’s important to be prepared for that possible eventuality. More of us will come to need long-term care – residential care can be highly expensive, as can the cost of care at home. Seek advice and have a plan in place for all eventualities to ease potential stress on yourself and your family.

While for some it may feel morbid to discuss these things and plan for death and old age, it should be spoken about to make sure everyone knows where they stand. As we’ve discussed, it’s not a taboo subject and, in fact, means you can enjoy your life with the comfort of knowing you have put all the appropriate measures in place.

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