top of page


I Have Cancer – Do I Need A Will?

As we turn away from the festive season and look towards the New Year, many people will start planning for the future. Unfortunately, for some that future is a lot shorter than it is for others, and the planning is mainly around what will happen when they are gone. If you have cancer, the number of new things to think about can be overwhelming, but one of the most important is writing a will, along with a set of Lasting Powers of Attorney.

What is a Will?

Simply put, a will is a legal document that gives instructions about who you want to leave your money and belongings to when you die. This makes it clear who and where you would like things to go to. You can leave specific items or sums of money to certain people, or set up trusts for any beneficiaries (people you leave money to) under 18.

As well as money and belongings, you can leave instructions about who should carry out the wishes in your will (they're called an executor), who you want to look after your children, and even funeral plans.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

While a will only comes into effect after your death, a Lasting Power of Attorney provides legal documentation of your wishes during your life. In this case, you appoint someone for multiple people) to make decisions for you if you were to lose capacity and the ability to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of LPA:

  • Financial, which deals with all of the money and finance decisions. This includes managing bank accounts, investments and even properties.

  • Health and welfare, which gives your chosen attorney the authority to make health and welfare decisions on your behalf.

Both of these only come into effect if you are unable to make decisions for yourself, so it’s important that you choose someone you trust as your attorney, and make sure they know your wishes.

Why Do You Need These Documents?

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is an earth-shaking thing. It often throws a lot of things into perspective, and a natural reaction is to get your affairs in order. Were not going to sugar-coat this bit - every type of cancer can be fatal. Many aren't, and treatments are getting better with survival rates going up all the time, but the reality is that you need to be prepared for the worst case scenario. A will is the best way to do this, ensuring your loved ones are provided for when you’re gone.

When it comes to LPAs, it's you that will see the benefit. Both LPAs allow you to set out a kind of  'living will’ so that you can decide what happens to you in the event you can't make decisions for yourself, or if you don't feel able to anymore. For example, if you feel that the cancer and treatments are leaving you fuzzy and unable to cope with managing your finances. you can trigger the LPA and allow your chosen attorney to handle them for you. If your illness progresses to the point that you aren't able to understand your healthcare options, an LPA allows your attorney to take over making those choices for you, so you can be sure you're being treated in line with your wishes, even if you can't advocate for yourself.

How Do I Choose My Attorneys?

When creating both a will and an LPA, you will need to choose people who will act on your behalf when the time comes. For your will they are called an executor, and will manage your estate. For an LPA they are called attorneys, and they will act on your behalf when you aren't able to. You can choose multiple people for each role. When choosing who to appoint, think about:

  • How well you know the person.

  • How well they know your wishes.

  • How trustworthy they are.

  • If you're appointing multiple people, how likely are they to agree on things?

Most people choose their family members, like children or a spouse, for these roles. But you can appoint friends, or even legal /financial/health professionals to take on these roles-as long as they have agreed to it.

When Should I Set up a Will and LPA?

As soon as possible. You need to be considered legally competent and of sound mind in order to create both of these documents, so the sooner they are done, the better. There is also a lengthy processing time before your will and LPA will be verified and accepted, so it's best to get them done well before you need them. If you need any support, guidance or help in creating a will and Lasting powers of Attorney, let us know, as we have connections with some brilliant professionals who can help. And if it all gets too much, remember that we offer free holidays to all families who are affected by a cancer diagnosis. So you can escape from business of daily life, or even use the time to think and get your affairs in order. To book, just click here.


Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
bottom of page