Having your affairs in order is a gift to give.  It helps those around you when you are ill or die.  You are unlikely to go to a meeting with any professional in any situation completely unprepared.  All of life needs a little planning.  Why would you leave important paperwork to chance when you could prepare it in advance and then know it is in place.  What you prepare and when will depend on your stage of life.  Being prepared does not make death come quicker but may help to make it less fraught when it does inevitably come.

Remember that we do not always just fall over dead.  Some of these documents are useful during the end of your life.  It is best to plan these while you have a clear mind and energy.  It is a mistake to leave it until you have no capacity to plan.

Paperwork is not age dependent.  For example, if you have assets at any age, you should have a will in place.  Or if you have dependents, you should consider a power of attorney.

There is plenty of advice on how and why to be prepared.  It does not have to be expensive.  There is no legal requirement to have a solicitor to write a will or power of attorney.  This is a matter for personal consideration.  There is advice for those who want to go it alone.  A solicitor should be able to help with existing complex situations or where one might be able to predict future complexities. 

Hoping that your wishes will be obvious or followed is not a realistic plan.  Even if you think you have told someone you trust, you are leaving them vulnerable.  If you have opinions and preferences for what you would like and do not want to leave it to chance, put those preferences into the proper documents.

Managing one's own affairs can be complicated.  One forgets the details.  It is mean spirited to expect others to manage one's own affairs without at least giving them some clues.  

And then, tell someone where it all is.  Are there duplicates?  Do you have plans that you would like to see set in stone?  Or do you really not care? 

If you have any feelings for those who have responsibility for our care or who are left after we die, it is a kindness to them to do what you can beforehand.

We have highlighted the documents and actions you could consider.

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