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Can someone talk me through practical end of life planning?

(15 Posts)
sweetheart Thu 31-Aug-17 15:41:57

My df is in the final stages of heart failure and has been going down hill quite rapidly over recent weeks. I was called out to him at 6am the other morning - initially I thought the call would be to tell me he had passed - it made me think that I don't know anything about the practical side of end of life - not even who to ring once he has passed.

He lives with my dm and I'm worried how she will cope once he is gone - she is not very independent.

Things like their bank account is joint - would this be frozen? Should we be setting her up her own account?

Anything anyone could think of would be appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
exexpat Thu 31-Aug-17 15:45:28

Joint bank accounts are good - they automatically pass to the survivor and don't get tied up in probate. The best thing to do at this stage is to get as many assets, utility accounts etc put into joint names as possible, so it can all be dealt with by your DM in due course.

exexpat Thu 31-Aug-17 15:58:35

This website tells you a lot if stuff you will need to know
The 'tell us once' service is particularly good - it notifies all the necessary official departments for you. If your DF ends up dying in hospital, the staff there will be able to help you with lots of advice, leaflets etc, but if he is at home, you may have less immediate support.

It is worth looking up funeral directors in advance if you can bring yourself to think that far ahead - has anyone you know had to organise a funeral locally recently? Ask for recommendations - so that you are not googling when in a state of shock. Also possibly find out about bereavement counselling/support for your DM.

Sorry you are having to face all this, but I think dealing with practical things when you can is a very good idea.

exexpat Thu 31-Aug-17 15:59:11
That link should work.

ImperialBlether Thu 31-Aug-17 16:07:17

What a sad situation for you. I'm so sorry.


My dad died of heart failure last year, leaving my mum behind. Most of the utility bills were in his name - we changed them on the phone to joint names. My dad was too ill to talk to them about it and my mum too upset. I think we had to send some sort of evidence to them but I'm afraid I can't remember what - it was mad as the money was coming out of a joint account. The evidence was certainly something we had available, maybe a council tax bill, that sort of thing.

Has your dad written a Will? My dad hadn't and wouldn't but everything went to my mum as it was within the limit of what's inherited by a spouse alone and besides, none of us children were going to argue about it.

I would speak to an undertaker beforehand - they are very nice and used to people being upset. I would say that he's very ill and what should you do when he dies.

By the way my dad used the Co-op Funeral Care and my sister had a Co-op card and got about £500 knocked off. That could be something you could do if they are local to you. They took very good care of my dad.

If your dad dies at home and hasn't seen a doctor for a couple of weeks, then the Coroner's Office come to collect the body. My mum found this very upsetting - she thought he'd be in the house longer than he was.

ImperialBlether Thu 31-Aug-17 16:10:38

I think you need to remember that any exertion can bring about the end in that situation. My dad died when he got up one morning and was coughing in the bathroom. Luckily the door wasn't locked - that might be something to warn them about. I know he didn't want to go to hospital and we were glad he'd died at home. I'm glad he got up thinking it was a normal day ahead of him - I hope I die like that.

Fairylea Thu 31-Aug-17 16:11:17

I don't know if things will still be the same now (13 years on) but when I nursed my Gran at home through terminal bowel cancer we rang the doctors when she passed and they came and issued some sort of certificate / confirmed she had passed and then we had to contact a local funeral place to make arrangements and they came to collect her body in a private ambulance (blacked out van). A few days later we went to the funeral place to make arrangements for her cremation.

So sorry you are going through this. flowers

sweetheart Thu 31-Aug-17 16:11:53

Thank you for the info so far, it's a hard subject to deal with, especially bringing things up with my parents who don't want to talk about it.

Does anyone know who you call on the event of a death at home? Especially if it's out of GP usual hours? Do you call 999?

OP’s posts: |
Fairylea Thu 31-Aug-17 16:13:34

I think (I may be well be wrong) that if you are absolutely certain they have passed and the gp is not open I would ring 111 - I'm not actually sure what you would do though to be honest, so that is a guess!

sweetheart Thu 31-Aug-17 16:21:58

I have heard stories of this Imber which I why I thought the call the other day may be to say he had gone suddenly.

OP’s posts: |
ImperialBlether Thu 31-Aug-17 17:24:22

This information guide might be useful for you, OP.

ImperialBlether Thu 31-Aug-17 17:25:41

I meant to say about the Co-op card that you should have it before he dies. You'd have to agree that the bill would then be in your name. My mum used my sister's card and then my mum paid the bill.

ImperialBlether Thu 31-Aug-17 17:26:17

Are either of your parents religious?

enochroot Thu 31-Aug-17 17:46:54

DH died last month in hospital. The funeral director needed the doctor's paperwork from the hospital before he could act so I'm pretty sure that wherever a death takes place you have to have it certified by a doctor.
As said above, the Tell us once service takes care of all government notification including HMRC, council tax, even the library service!
The Registrar gave me a code number for this so I could do it online or will do it while you wait.
Joint bank accounts are OK and your DM can continue to use theirs but try to get utilities into joint names or her name while he's still alive if at all possible.
Having said that, everyone I have dealt with has been incredibly helpful.

sweetheart Fri 01-Sep-17 15:12:54

thanks all. I will talk to my mum abouot bills and try to get them sorted with my name also on as authorised to speak on their behalf.

My parents aren't religious so that's one less thing to concentrate on i suppose.

OP’s posts: |

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