Getting your affairs in order if you are told you will not recover from cancer
Many people find that when they’re told they won’t recover from their cancer, they are overcome by thoughts of all the things they still want to do and the unfinished business they need to sort out. This is a natural reaction.
If there are particular things you want to do, and you’re still able to do them, then it can be good to get on and do those things and enjoy them while you can.
When you have advanced cancer, you usually have some idea of when you might die, as cancer generally develops slowly. However, death may be sudden, as at any time of life. So, it can be a good idea to get your affairs in order to give yourself peace of mind.
Making a will
It’s important to make a will. It is not morbid to be concerned about what will happen to your possessions after your death. It is a thoughtful and effective way of taking care of the people you love and it will spare them painful decisions, bureaucratic hassles and financial hardship which may occur if you do not make your wishes clear.
Lasting power of attorney
A will takes effect after your death, but it’s also possible to appoint someone (an attorney) to take care of your affairs on your behalf while you are alive. You can appoint someone to manage your finances and property because it’s easier for you - due to illness for example - or because you may become unable to manage your own affairs in the future. In England and Wales this is known as a property and affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
In Scotland, appointing someone to manage your finances and property is called a Continuing Power of Attorney. It can be arranged to begin immediately and then continue should you become incapable of managing your own affairs, or to begin just when you become incapable. In Northern Ireland a similar arrangement is called an Enduring Power of Attorney.
A power of attorney appointed to manage your finances and property is different to someone who is appointed to make decisions about your care and treatment.
The attorney is usually a relative or solicitor and has the authority to deal with some or all of your affairs, such as paying bills and collecting benefits.