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Let's talk about dying

Updated: Mar 25

Did you know the funeral sector is not regulated? Or, that you can have any kind of funeral you want? Did you know that there is specialist wellbeing support for end of life Carers?

Thought about getting a LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) in place even when you're not expecting to be ill, or who'd execute your will? Perhaps, more importantly, do you know what happens to your property or estate if you don't have a will?

There are so many questions and stresses that can surround the end of someone's life, but knowledge, planning and having open and honest conversation in advance can help you and your loved ones ensure wishes are met and disputes are avoided at this difficult time.

On March the 14th we made a start with our first extended Carers Connect Let's Talk about dying event.

We're editing a video from the event and have summarised the Q&A sections so you can skip below to:

  1. Clare from Poppy's Funerals, an ethical company based in Lambeth, talking about the practicalities around funerals, planning and options.

  2. Caroline, SCC's Carers Specialist Support Worker about her role and the end of life support she offers, as well as bereavement support available.

  3. Simon from St Raphael's following a talk on the Wellbeing Centre, end of life care at St Raphael's and the Compassionate Neighbours programme.

  4. Ifat from Citizens Advice Sutton talked about wills and Inheritance Tax.

Q&A on funerals

Does re-use happen within natural burial grounds?

Although the re-use is the most environmentally friendly use of land, the re-use of graves is a very sensitive subject so at the moment re-using graves is very rare.

Municipal cemeteries are full, but even though if typical leases of 50 years are not renewed, there are many historical graves and land local authorities struggle to track down the families of the person who has died.  There is often strong public opinion against re-use of graves, which means many local authorities are reluctant to go down this route.

What are the environmental reasons for shallow burials?

What is the timescale of registering a death?

Is taking out a funeral plan worth it?

What is the minimum cost for a funeral?

You can pay to have ashes scattered at Kew Gardens. Can you scatter ashes anywhere?

Useful links:

  1. Guide to great death care

  2. Blog: Information, advice and guidance on death and dying

  3. Impartial information and advice from Poppy's: 020 3589 4726 /

  4. Martin Lewis has an article on Funeral Plans.

Q&A on supporting an end of life Carer

As well as a struggle to share emotions when someone has died, is there a struggle to share emotions when someone is end of life?

Yes, very much so. It is almost the same. With sensitivity, being open and honest about how you are feeling is best, both from the Carers and the person who is end of life, otherwise stress and anxiety can come out in other ways, e.g. illness. It's important to share fears and anxieties.

What if someone doesn't want to talk about their wishes?

Useful links

Q&A on end of life care, St Raphael's Hospice & Wellbeing Centre


Hospices are not places to be afraid of. They provide a very broad range of services and a warm friendly environment. Wellbeing Services are open to the community at large and are not limited to those under the clinical care of the hospice. Support can be offered in people's homes.

What is the difference between a hospice and a nursing home?

If the Carer lives in another area but the person they care for lives in Sutton, what happens?

Are most people in hospice's because of Cancer?

What about individual needs and wishes?

What if someone is expected to die in hospital but doesn't want to?

How do you get a place in a hospice

Useful links

Q&A on Wills and Inheritance Tax

What are the criteria of a beneficiary?

A beneficiary must be at least 18 years old. If younger, someone you trust can be designated to manage the money, or look after the inheritance until they turn 18, or it can be officially put in Trust via a solicitor. Please speak to a solicitor for any complexities.

Do beneficiaries have a right to see the will?

No-one has a 'right' to see your will. The only time anyone needs to view a will is during Probate. Having said this, do let people know you have written one and where it is!

What is the seven year rule?

Should I make my home over to my child in advance?

Do you have to list everything in a will?

What about debt against the estate?

Does every estate have to go to Probate?

Are benefits affected by inheritance?

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