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How do I make sure my final wishes are respected at my death?

We’ve heard a lot of stories around final wishes not being respected or worst case scenario a will contested at the death of a loved one.

But why do we want our final wishes to be respected? Well, we do it all for ourselves, as a way to openly acknowledge we have lived and our loved ones knew and loved us enough to celebrate our life. This is about being trustworthy towards each other, our love for the deceased goes beyond life and transition towards another dimension that no one yet knows. Respecting someone’s wishes is the occasion to give, forgive, ask for forgiveness with the possibility to say goodbye.

Some of the reason why final wishes are not respected or will contested most of the time include the following reasons:

  • Absence of a will and funeral directives
  • Interfaith and religious reasons
  • Financial burdens and debts
  • Testamentary capacity
  • Lack of valid execution
  • Lack of knowledge and approval
  • Undue influence
  • Fraudulent wills and forged wills
  • Rectification and construction claims

In this post, I’d like to offer you 3 ingenious ways that will ensure your last wishes are followed. Of course, these ways are legal.

1. Use an Online Service tool that takes care of your end of life plans for you

In this digital world, you don’t need to print so many papers and documents. Using a strong online service specialised in end of life planning will enable you to have everything in one place with the option of sharing documents when necessary. Welcome to the digital world!

Most of the time the will that you can produce directly on these platforms are legal. In England and Wales, wills are not regulated but only valid once you have printed it and signed it in front of two witnesses, who must be over 18 years old and not themselves beneficiaries of your will. In the Covid19 situation, I can guarantee you that wills will be soon electronically signed to facilitate the process of making them. They are also known as E-Wills. The E-Wills Act permits testators to create, sign notarise, and execute a valid will online and allows probate courts to give electronic wills legal effect.

If your affairs are complex, you require Trusts, or have assets outside of England and Wales then online wills providers can also recommend that you contact a local professional to help you further.

Legal Zoom. com explains that final wishes should not be included in your will.

‘’It is not always easy for the person handling your estate to find everything that you own, especially things like stocks, bonds and similar investments. Things stored somewhere other than at your home, such as a coin collection in a safe-deposit box, a boat at a docking facility, a recreational vehicle in a storage lot, furniture at a self-storage company, etc., are often difficult to locate. Your list should include a detailed description of the item and where it is located.‘’

There are a lot of benefits in using an online service but an important advantage is that when you share your material possessions with your loved ones, you have confidence that they have 24/7 access to your planning from a secure cloud. You can easily grant or revoke access for anyone. If you update your plans, the people you have shared with will always see the most up-to-date version of your plan.

Check Kwaetus frequently asked questions

2. Pay for your funeral plans ahead of time

If your family members have different ideas about what to do with your body and for your funeral, it is far less likely that they will choose to pay out-of-pocket for something when there is a “free” option free to them, at least, because you’ve already paid for it. This is the best way to make sure your funeral plans are followed. When you plan out your funeral, pay for as much as possible ahead of time. You might want to check if your life insurance plan includes these types of arrangements.

3. Let your loved ones knows your plans

I know it seems simple and obvious to read this but simply writing out your wishes in plain language and making them known to several people can have a very powerful effect. Most people will find it very difficult to intentionally violate the stated wishes of a dead person. Hence it is important to communicate with your loved ones several times to ensure they are committed to respect your last wishes. At Kwaetus, we recommend updating your wishes and communicating them at least every 2–3 years to ensure your loved ones have the most updated version.

If issues arise at your death, this will be purely on the basis that you have very little or most likely not communicated enough your end of life plans. Society is evolving towards more transparency and openness around the subject of death. Various movements including the death positive movement should encourage you to discuss openly about your plans.

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