Things you may want to think about

There are many practical steps you can take to get your affairs in order.

This can include things like:

  • making a will
  • arranging for someone else to manage your affairs
  • preparing for a funeral
  • cornea and tissue donation.

The following information can help you and your family and friends to talk about your wishes and what practical steps you can take to get your affairs in order.

Making a will

A Will helps you to decide what happens to your property, money and possessions (your ‘estate’) after your death, and making a Will ensures that your wishes will be carried out when the time comes.

Not everyone needs to make a Will. If you have just enough money to cover the cost of your funeral, then a Will may not be necessary. If your financial affairs are more complicated and you die without making a Will (intestate), your estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy. This may not include your partner if you are not legally married or in a civil partnership.

You can write your own Will as long as you are at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. Standard forms are available from most good stationery shops and larger high street supermarkets.

If you are a patient at St Christopher’s and you need to prepare your Will, unfortunately we won’t be able to help you arrange a solicitor or witness your Will but we will be able to give general guidance as to whether it is advisable for you to make a Will or not.

There is more information in our leaflet Do I need to make a Will?

Arranging for someone else to manage your affairs

If you are struggling to manage your financial affairs, you may be able to arrange for a trusted person to help you. This help is called different things depending on what you need help with, how much help you need and how long for.

For example, you may want help to:

  • operate a bank account
  • deal with your benefit claims
  • look after your finances through a power of attorney.

Our factsheet Managing affairs for someone else is a step by step guide on the different types of help available and how to apply for them.

Preparing for a funeral

A funeral is a significant event. It may not be easy to think about, whether your own or that of a relative; for example how best to commemorate a life, what to include or leave out. However, planning a funeral can be helpful for those who are approaching the end of life and is one way of ensuring that their wishes are respected.

Download our leaflet Preparing for a funeral for help with considering some of the important things involved.

Cornea and tissue donation

We know that organ/tissue donation can help patients and families feel comforted by knowing that they have given hope to others, and that some good has come out of their loss. However, we also realise that not everyone feels comfortable with taking such a step.

Surveys show that although 70 per cent of the population in this country say that they would be glad to donate an organ, only 15 per cent actually register as a donor.

If you are thinking about being a donor, our leaflet Cornea and tissue donation outlines the facts and may help you to make a decision.

Related leaflets