At the end of last year, I had the pleasure of a new experience and meeting a new group of people. This was at the Finsbury Park Death Café in London.
At first, this seemed like a strange concept but driven by curiosity I went along to a meeting. I met a group of friendly strangers gathering to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death and end of life planning, in the hope that groups like this will make discussing death less taboo.
Being a big fan of tea and cake it was right up my street. Furthermore, as a wills and probate solicitor, the work and aims of the death cafe closely tie in with what I do. Dealing with recently bereaved people and helping individuals to prepare their wills and lasting powers of attorney.
Many of those at the Death Cafe decided to come along after a bad experience of death. Some experienced a parent suffering from dementia who did not have a lasting power of attorney so the family had little say in end of life and care decisions. One individual recalled how their father didn't have a will, which left a complicated mess and a sibling dispute.
Recent studies show that around two thirds of adults in the UK have not made a will and that around a third of us will die intestate. There is a danger that by not writing a will your family fall out following your death – it can lead to bitterness and arguments.
If you have any questions about end of life planning, wills, tax and lasting powers of attorney then contact the experts at Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9056 or contact us online. We have expert inheritance and welfare solicitors nationwide.
Death Cafes are free of charge and take place all around the country you can find out when the next one held nearby you will be by checking out the Death Café listings.
Camilla Haggith-Khonje is a wills, tax, trusts and probate solicitor from the Slater and Gordon Watford office.