- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Facing end of life
- Practical concerns
- Preparing legal documents
- Getting your affairs in order
Getting your affairs in order
It is important to get your affairs in order, and some of the things to consider are your:
I feel like I have a window of time to get my house in order. I want my transition to be easy for my family.
- Have you arranged your financial affairs?
- Do you want someone to make legal or financial decisions for you if you are not able to?
- Does someone know where important papers or valuables are stored in the home or elsewhere?
- Do you have a valid will?
- If you have life insurance, is the beneficiary information up to date?
- If you have superannuation, have you nominated a beneficiary? This person must be your dependant. If it is a “lapsing” nomination, you must confirm it in writing every three years, so check when you did this last.
- If you’d like to prepare letters for family or friends, have you done so?
- Who would you like to have around you as you get closer to death? Do they know? Are there people you don’t want around?
- Are there unresolved issues that you would like to sort out with particular people?
- Have you left instructions and passwords for your social media accounts?
- Are there certain treatments that you don’t want to have?
- Have you discussed your wishes for end-of-life care with your family, carers and health professionals?
- Have you considered who can make decisions about your care if you’re not able to make them yourself?
- Have you recorded your wishes for future medical care in an advance care directive and appointed a substitute decision-maker?
- Are there any cultural, spiritual or religious practices that you would like carried out before or after your death? Who do you need to ask to make sure this happens?
- Do you want a minister, priest, rabbi, imam or another spiritual practitioner present at the end?
- Do you want to be buried or cremated? Do you have a burial plot? Would you like your ashes scattered in a specific place?
- What are your preferences for a memorial service? Have you shared your wishes with family and friends?
Dr Megan Ritchie, Staff Specialist Palliative Medicine, Palliative Care Service, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; Gabrielle Asprey, Cancer Support Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Rosemary Cavanough, Consumer; Louise Durham, Nurse Practitioner, Metro South Palliative Care Service, QLD; Tracey Gardner, Senior Psychologist, Cancer Counselling Service, Cancer Council Queensland; Karen Hall, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Linda Nolte, Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia, VIC; Rowena Robinson, Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia, ACT; Helena Rodi, Program Manager, Advance Care Planning Australia, VIC.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.