There is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone. But it’s important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it. Getting there means having some important conversations and taking some careful decisions. 

Here we give you a chance to look at the different aspects of planning for death and how these can affect you and those left behind. 

Physical and emotional planning

Research from Dying Matters (an awareness week run by Hospice UK ) shows that, when asked, more than four in five people say they would prefer to die at home. The research also shows that nearly a quarter of UK adults are uncomfortable thinking about their own death and end-of-life issues. Three quarters (74%) of people haven't written down their wishes or told people what they would prefer at the end of life. 

Planning care in advance is one aspect of planning for the end of life that will help you get the kind of care you would prefer. It also opens up the conversations around talking about death.

Financial planning

Make sure that you have a list of your bank account(s) and other places where you have savings, such as Premium Bonds, ISAs and any stocks and shares, together with any life insurance policies you might have.

Think about what relevant information your next of kin will need to access this information and then leave the details in a safe deposit box or in a sealed envelope with your solicitor for your executor(s).

Make sure, too, that your executor(s), family member or a close friend know who your solicitor is.

By making a will you will know that you are helping those left behind when you die.

Digital assets 

Planning for what will happen to your digital assets, such as your social media accounts, online banking and information on your personal computer, when you die is another important aspect of planning for the end of life.

As so much of our lives is on the internet, it’s worth taking time to plan for what will happen to each digital asset that you own and use.

  • Computer and online account passwords, make a password inventory and keep it in a safe deposit box to be accessed by your solicitor, family or executor at the time of your death. Alternatively, place it in a sealed envelope and hand over to your solicitor for your executor(s).
  • For any social media accounts, you may want to give administrative access to someone you trust. You may also want to download photos and videos to pass onto your next of kin.
  • Similarly, for photos and videos stored on electronic devices or in the cloud, you may want to make a folder of your favourites and share them with a friend or family member. Do this either through Google photos, iPhotos or other similar platform or use an external memory stick or hard drive.

Sharing your plans

Making plans for the end of life is but one step towards knowing that everything will be passed on as you would wish. The next step is to share your wishes with trusted family members or friends.

Consider talking through your plans with those close to you and give them the opportunity for input, especially if they are to carry out your wishes.

Keep important documents about your care, financial matters or funeral in a safe place and let loved ones know where they are.

Related pages

  • If you are thinking about making a will, you might want to consider leaving a gift to Katharine House Hospice. This is one of the most valuable and lasting ways you can make a difference to local families facing life-limiting illness. You might also want to leave a legacy gift in memory of a loved one who is no longer with us.
  • Planning your funeral: for some people this can be a comforting thing to do and we give advice on paying for your funeral as well as the most important considerations when thinking about your own funeral.
  • Talking about dying: death is one of the most difficult subjects to discuss with family and friends; here we give some ideas on how to start the conversation.

The EPiC Resource Centre is kindly sponsored by Cleenol: working for a cleaner, safer, kinder world.