Where there’s a will there’s a way

Have the con­ver­sa­tion with loved ones about your wishes

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

imag­ine for a sec­ond you’ve kicked the prover­bial bucket (sorry, but it’s go­ing to hap­pen). How­ever your demise comes to pass, do you want peo­ple gnash­ing and wail­ing and cry­ing into their beers or par­ty­ing like it’s 1999, cel­e­brat­ing the hell out of you and the gift that your life was to them? Think bright colours, funny sto­ries, mu­sic, love, laugh­ter and friends com­ing to­gether to send you off in style. Well, you have to make it known while you’re still here!

Shar­ing your end of life wishes – both for­mally via le­gal doc­u­ments and in­for­mally – can help cir­cum­vent a cer­tain amount of pain and con­fu­sion at what’s bound to be a tough time for folks.

Let them know, for in­stance; do you want life sup­port at all costs? Who’s in charge if you can no longer speak for your­self? Burial or cre­ma­tion? Ashes scat­tered to the wind or turned into a taste­ful piece of jew­ellery? And what the heck should they do with your two mil­lion Spring­steen VHS tapes and CDS?

Talk­ing about death and what hap­pens next em­pow­ers, pre­pares and re­moves the taboo. We make plans for ev­ery­thing else, why not dy­ing?


That would be now, be­fore an emer­gency com­pli­cates things! It doesn’t have to be a for­mal sit-down, take your op­por­tu­nity when­ever, wher­ever to bring up these im­por­tant is­sues with loved ones. MAK­ING A DIF­FI­CULT SIT­U­A­TION EAS­IER

Pre­pare a will. It out­lines your fi­nal wishes about the distri­bu­tion of your as­sets such as real es­tate, money and per­sonal prop­erty. It can also be used to nom­i­nate guardians for chil­dren and other im­por­tant per­sonal di­rec­tives. Dy­ing with­out one can be a headache and may make in­her­i­tance dis­putes more likely. With­out a will, courts may have the fi­nal say.

A will can be made by any­one aged over 18 and is bind­ing as long as it is signed by you in the

pres­ence of two wit­nesses who are not ben­e­fi­cia­ries. It doesn’t need to be for­mally lodged any­where but you can have your so­lic­i­tor keep a copy.

You can write your own will.

There are many tem­plates and kits avail­able on­line or you can have a so­lic­i­tor draw one up.

Ap­point an ex­ecu­tor;

this is some­one you trust to carry out your wishes.

Make sure to pe­ri­od­i­cally re­view and up­date your will af­ter ma­jor life events such as mar­riage, births, divorce or deaths. Don’t scratch

out and hand­write new de­tails. Mod­i­fi­ca­tions, known as cod­i­cils, must be typed out and re-wit­nessed. • Keep your will with other im­por­tant doc­u­ments and en­sure trusted peo­ple know where it’s kept.

• Con­sider ap­point­ing an En­dur­ing

Power of At­tor­ney. This per­son can make fi­nan­cial and le­gal de­ci­sions on your be­half if you’re un­able due to ill­ness or hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion. • Make an Ad­vance Care Plan

(liv­ing will) de­tail­ing your wishes re­gard­ing med­i­cal care and life sup­port pref­er­ences.

• Ask peo­ple how they’d like to

‘go out’. Are they reg­is­tered or­gan donors? What mu­sic should be played at their fu­neral? Do they even want a fu­neral? Is there some­thing spe­cial you can carry on for them af­ter? There’s com­fort in know­ing.

Turn­ing a tough time of loss into a joy­ful cel­e­bra­tion is the per­fect way to hon­our a life well lived.

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