5 Things you can do to die well
Nobody knows what the future has in store for us; you don't have to be ill or dying to make plans for your future. Here are five things you can do now to make things easier for you and your loved ones at the end of your life. These are also available in our downloadable leaflet (pictured right) and poster.
1. Make a Will
Writing a Will allows you to plan what happens to your money and possessions after you die, as well as who cares for any children you have. It’s the only way you can be sure that your wishes are carried out and avoids leaving difficult legal problems behind for your family.
Registering your Will
Once you have written your Will it's important to make sure that your beneficiaries will be able to locate it easily when the time comes. Dying Matters has teamed up with
Many charities depend on legacies from Wills - without them could not continue. Remember A Charity works with more than 140 of the UK's top charities to encourage people to consider leaving a charitable gift in their Will, once they've looked after their family and friends. Find out more.
2. Record your funeral wishes
Have you ever thought about what you want for your funeral? Would you want to be buried or cremated? Where do you want your funeral to be held? Do you want readings and,if so, which ones and read by whom? Perhaps there’s even a particular route you would like your hearse to take. There’s plenty of scope to make a final statement – if you share your funeral wishes.
Share your funeral wishes using our simple form
3. Plan your future care and support
As we go through life, many of us will eventually need caring for. Some of us might also lose capacity to make decisions ourselves. You can talk to your family and healthcare professionals (for example your GP) about the sort of care you would like.
4. Register as an organ donor
Other people can benefit from your organs after your death if you register as an organ donor – people of all ages can register to donate their organs.
Join the Organ Donation Register
5. Tell your loved ones your wishes
Before you finalise any of these things, consider talking them through with those close to you. This gives them the opportunity for input, and means you can begin sharing your thoughts and feelings about the future. If you have important documents about your wishes, keep them in a safe place and let loved ones know where they are.
Download our 'To Do List' leaflet, which offers advice to ill or older people who want to start conversations about the future with family, friends or carers: Download the leaflet.
Watch 'I Didn't Want That', our powerful film highlighting the importance of making your end of life wishes clear.