End-of-Life Planning

End-of-life planning involves making important decisions about your medical care, treatment preferences, and other end-of-life matters in advance. This can also include pre-planning funeral ceremonies and burial or cremation arrangements.
"End-of-life planning should be empowering."

Why plan for end-of-life?

People tend to shy away from talking about end-of-life planning, yet it is so much better for everyone, including yourself, to have discussions with family and to make plans so that, when the time comes, all your affairs are in order.

What greater gift could you give those who love you than to take away any difficult decisions they would need to make after you had lost capacity or died? I believe end-of-life planning is an empowering process that allows you to take control of this part of your life and gives your loved ones the peace of mind to adjust and grieve without additional stress or worry.

What is involved in end-of-life planning?

End-of-life planning may include any of the following or a combination thereof:

Advance Funeral Planning

Planning a funeral in advance has many advantages. Not only does it offer you the opportunity to leave your family and friends with a thoughtful farewell in your own unique way, but it eases the pressure of making decisions about funeral planning after you’re gone.

You may wish to have a rough outline of your funeral or to orchestrate the event with specific details, including music, poetry or quotes, the type of flowers, or a display or activity (such as a memory board or planting a tree). There are many possibilities to personalise your funeral service if you want to!

If possible, you may also wish to choose your resting place or the type of venue for your ceremony so that your family can follow your wishes with your blessing.

Advance Statement

An Advance Statement is a document that provides a lot of personal information about you, including your likes and dislikes, what you like to do and your hobbies, what music you like to listen to or TV programmes you like to watch and can even include what name you like to be called if you have a nickname, as well as some photographs of yourself and family, who you can also name.

An Advance Statement provides a wonderful insight as to who you are and what is important to you and is invaluable if, at the end of your life, you are in long-term care or have lost capacity, as it will help the carers to give you the consideration you deserve by putting things in place to enhance your quality of life.

Advance Decision

An Advance Decision is not the same as a Will (which comes into play after you have died), but is a separate document that sets out instructions about what medical and healthcare treatment you want to refuse in the future.

As an adult who has capacity, you have the right to refuse any medical treatment, even if this treatment is considered to be necessary to save your life.  However, there may come a point in your life where our family needs to be involved in making decisions about your medical care and treatment because you are not capable of doing so. By making an Advance Decision, you can let your family and others know which medical treatments you would like to refuse should a time come when you are not able to make such decisions yourself.

Whatever reason you may have for refusing medical treatment in the future, the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider, which could be your GP or any other treating clinicians, should be taken and endorsed by them if you are considering an Advance Decision, so that you fully understand the implications of these important decisions you are making.

As an Advance Decision is legally binding, to ensure that your decision to refuse treatment is undertaken, it must be in writing and signed by yourself, as well as being dated and witnessed.  Your healthcare providers should be notified that you have made an Advance Decision so that it can be recorded in your medical notes.

As it is a legally binding document, it has to be drafted in a particular way to make sure that it is valid and, therefore, it must include the following:

  • Specify clearly which treatments you wish to refuse
  • Explain the circumstances in which you wish to refuse them
  • You understand the consequences of refusing such life-saving treatment
  • Include a statement confirming that your advance decision applies to life saving treatment
  • Include all relevant personal details, including your name and address

Even though an Advance Decision is legally binding, this does not mean that it cannot be amended due to a change in your circumstances, or cancelled/withdrawn altogether. This can take place at any time, by just destroying it or writing ‘Cancelled’ across the Advance Decision document and then advising your healthcare provider as well as your family that you have done so.  You can even just tell your healthcare provider and family verbally that you have changed your mind and you no longer wish your Advance Decision to apply.

Alternatively you can provide a new amended Advance Decision to take its place to reflect any differences to your situation where your reasons for refusing medical treatment and care may have changed.  Because of this, it is important that you review your Advance Decision on a regular basis to ensure that it still reflects your wishes in light of your current circumstances.

An Advance Decision to refuse treatment in the future is a difficult choice to make but, if you still feel strongly about this following the advice and discussion with your healthcare provider, then I can help draft one for you.

Cost of End of Life Planning

As part of the End of Life Planning service, I will visit you at home to discuss with you, in an informal and understanding way, what it is that you really want, so that I can advise you. Following our discussion, I will draft the appropriate documentation for sending to you for review, to ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes.

Following your confirmation that you approve the document(s) these will be sent to you for safe-keeping. It should be noted, however, that in order to be legally binding the Advance Decision will need to be signed, witnessed and dated by you, before being passed onto your GP and treating clinician. This is to ensure that they are aware of what medical treatment and care you wish to refuse, should you become incapable of making those decisions in the future.

You should also keep a copy of the Advance Decision in a safe place so that your family are fully aware of the decisions you have made and, more importantly, should you wish to cancel or change your decisions in the future, whilst you still have the capacity to do so.

  • Advance Funeral Planning £200
  • Advance Statement £200
  • Advance Decision £200

These prices are not subject to VAT.

Please note that the above costs include a home visit.

A down payment of £50 will be required at our initial appointment, which will be deducted from the final cost of your End of Life document(s) or repaid if you subsequently decide not to proceed before any drafting of documents is undertaken.

Make thoughtful preparations

You may also wish to grant a Lasting Power of Attorney or prepare a Will.