End of life matters... a situation that involves difficult discussions, but being well informed can help you stay in control


End of life matters... a situation that involves difficult discussions, but being well informed can help you stay in control

By Julie Lord - Magenta Financial Planning

At Magenta we have a number of older and vulnerable clients and we are often approached to help them and their families, on advice surrounding care costs and end of life planning.

While these matters are often complex and emotional, there are some simple solutions that we are able to discuss and arrange for the family.

However, it’s not only the elderly that need this type of advice. Whatever your age, it is vital that your wishes are well documented so that your family and medical personnel know what you would want in the event of a catastrophe.

This was highlighted in the recent case of Paul Briggs as heard in the Court of Protection in December 2016:

Paul Briggs was a war veteran, police officer and family man but after an accident left him with life-changing injuries, including a bleed on the brain and multiple fractures to his spine, Paul’s wife applied to the Court of Protection (COP) for his life sustaining treatment to be withdrawn. Paul lacked the capacity to make the decision himself and as he had no Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare, nor an Advance decision (living will) in place, his wife had no alternative.

Paul was being kept alive by Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration (CANH), and it was this that his wife requested to be withdrawn so that she could move her husband to receive palliative care. It was her view that her husband would not want to live in that manner and that it was in his best interests for the CANH to be withdrawn.

Eventually the COP agreed for the CANH to be withdrawn, which was of great relief to the family. However, if Lasting Powers of Attorney documents and an Advance Decision were in place then perhaps decisions could have been made sooner and with less intervention from professionals.

So, what can you do?

Funeral plans - these provide an opportunity to discuss your wishes. A funeral is very personal, and some peoplee like to think of it as a celebration of their life where their family and friends can spend time together talking about the life of the deceased. Some people have very specific requirements, religious or otherwise. You can read more about funeral plans here.

Practical considerations - when someone dies, key documents will be required by family and executors including birth and marriage certificates, pension plans, insurance and details of their assets. These need to be kept in a safe place, with family members made aware of where they are stored which will make things easier for them later on.

With an ageing population and old age care demands continuing to rise, accommodating healthcare costs in retirement is an increasingly important issue.

We know that as we get older, our memory is not always what it was and that it can be hard to remember everything. As we age we may need to rely on others more, be it family, neighbours, doctors, professional advisers and even help at home. At some stage, we may even have to go into a care home and try to manage these costs.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, more than 1 million people in the UK will have dementia by 2025. One in five people over 85 already suffers from it, with rates significantly higher among women than men.

During many discussions with clients, it has become obvious to us that there are many free or inexpensive resources available to help with financial decisions, organisation or passing useful information on to your family or executors upon illness or death.

You can read more about later life concerns in a helpful Later Life Toolkit 

At Magenta we focus on the bigger picture and take into consideration the quality of life and happiness of our clients. Julie Lord, our Chief executive is an accredited later life advisor with SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisors,) and we champion the needs of older clients and their families.

Julie Lord is CEO of Magenta Financial Planning and is always happy to provide basic financial information to help people to get a better handle on their finances and the possible solutions available to them to improve their future security and happiness.

t: 01656 760670

​w: www.magentafp.com 

Magenta Financial Planning is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.