End of life

What practical things should I think about?

Practical issues might be the last thing you want to think about at the end of life. But you may find it helpful to sort things out, knowing that your family and friends don’t have to have the responsibility of making major decisions for you later.

You may want to think about:

Making a will

By making a will, you decide what happens to everything you own. You can draw up a will yourself, but we recommend getting legal help because there are certain rules to follow when writing it. Have a look at our free will guide or contact your local Citizens Advice for a list of solicitors who can help by either writing the will for you, or checking one that you have written. Bear in mind, that unmarried partners, including same-sex couples who don’t have a civil partnership, have no right to inherit if there is no will.

We run a free will writing service, where you can get a basic will written for free by a participating solicitor in your area. There is also the option of writing your will from the comfort of your home - this is also free and online. 

Before making your will, it’s important to think about:

  • what money, possessions and property you have, called your estate
  • who you want to give your estate to
  • who you want to take care of any children who are under 18
  • any wishes you may have about your burial or cremation
  • who you want to carry out your wishes and sort out your estate—they are known as the executor of your will

Putting your affairs in order

It can be helpful to let your family and executor know where they can find:

  • your financial records such as your bank, building society, credit card and pension details
  • important documents such as your passport, insurance details and house deeds
  • passwords to your computer and mobile phone
  • details of your gas, water, electricity suppliers and phone contracts, as well as any hire or credit agreements
  • funeral plans, including any pre-paid plans

Become an organ donor

You may wish to donate your organs to someone who really needs them. You can give advance consent by joining the organ donor register. Even if you have a lung condition, you could still be eligible to donate certain organs.

Register in:

England, Scotland or Northern Ireland 

Wales has an opt-in system, which means that if you haven’t registered your decision, you will be treated as having no objection to being an organ donor.


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Download our end of life PDF (313KB)