Financial planning after a brain tumour diagnosis
While it can be difficult to think about, financial planning after a brain tumour diagnosis is important. Having things in place, like a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney, could decrease your stress. It might also help you spend more quality time with your family and friends.
When planning your finances there are some legal decisions you may start to consider. For example, who has control of your finances now and in the future?
So we’ve pulled together advice from our own benefits and money advisor, along with other sources, to help you and your loved ones think about long-term financial planning after a brain tumour diagnosis.
On this page, we’ll cover:
Help with financial planning after a brain tumour diagnosis
Writing a Will
Writing a Will is one way of planning for the future and making sure that your loved ones are provided for. It’s generally advisable to get help with writing a Will from a solicitor
And with our free and discounted Will writing services, it doesn’t have to cost a penny!
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which enables you to instruct who gets your property, possessions and money after your death. This is known as your estate. For many people, having a valid Will is reassuring. It means you’ve made provision for the people and causes you care about the most. This is particularly important for those who are not married or in a registered civil partnership as well as those who have children under 18.
Writing a Will makes sure you get to decide what happens with your assets (such as property, valuables and savings) after you die.
It allows you to choose who you want them to go to (the beneficiaries, e.g. family, friends and charities). You can also decide how they will be allocated. And, you can choose the person(s) you want to carry out the allocation (the executors). If there is no Will, there are certain rules (called intestacy) which dictate how your money, property or possessions should be allocated. This may not be the way you would have wished. As a result, the people or causes that are important to you might not receive anything.
The law doesn’t automatically recognise unmarried partners or those not in civil partnerships. Without a Will, you will not have the same rights as – no matter how long you’ve lived together.
If you want to leave something to a partner, to whom you’re not married or in a civil partnership, or to a close friend you generally need to include instructions to that effect in your Will.
What else goes in a Will?
Writing a Will isn’t just about deciding who is going to inherit your estate, it’s also an opportunity to leave instructions about your funeral, burial or cremation. It may not be easy to think about this subject, but leaving clear instructions in your Will means your relatives and friends won’t need to make that decision after you die. Don’t forget to make sure someone knows where your Will is kept – your executors will need the original Will.
You may also want to consider donating your organs (including brain donation) or furthering research by leaving instructions about gathering tumour samples that will be used to help researchers understand brain tumour development.
Your signature is powerful
When you sign your Will, knowing you’ve remembered us, you’ll also know your future gift will play its part in something far bigger: beating this dreadful disease.
Lasting power of attorney
You may worry about what happens if a brain tumour causes you or a loved one to become unable to make decisions about care or financial affairs.
In this case, you may want to consider setting up a Lasting power of attorney (LPA). This is a legal arrangement that allows you to appoint a person (or people) you trust, who will make important decisions on your behalf, if needed.
Making an LPA can give you the reassurance of knowing that if such a time should come, somebody with your best interests in mind will be making those decisions.
There are two types of LPA:
This allows you to give someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf about your property and finances. This could include, for example, managing your bank accounts, paying bills, collecting benefits or pension and selling your home. It can be used as soon as it is registered with your permission.
This allows you to give someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf about your welfare, where you live and the treatment you receive, and allows them to access your health records. This could include, for example, decisions about your daily routine and medical care, moving to a care home and life-sustaining treatment (life support), It can be useful if, you lack the mental capacity to be able to make these decisions yourself.
In order to register one or both types of lasting power of attorney, you must be over 18 and have the mental capacity to make your own decisions.
The government has published advice and the forms you need to arrange a lasting power of attorney.
Registering lasting power of attorney costs £82 per type. So, £164 to register both. Although if you receive some means-tested benefits you may pay less or not have to pay at all. The form explains how and when to pay the fees.
Letting someone else take control of your property, finances and welfare is an important decision. You may want to get advice from a solicitor. The government also provides contact details for the Office of the Public Guardian, You can contact them to get help with deciding to make an LPA or how to apply.
Your local Citizen’s Advice can give you free information about lasting power of attorney and choosing who you want to make decisions on your behalf.
Tips for financial planning
After a brain tumour diagnosis, you may want to do some financial planning on a smaller scale. This might not be necessary, depending on your circumstances. But, it might help to:
Cut unnecessary expenses
Look at all your regular bills and make sure you are getting the best deal you can, things like gas and electric, broadband, water, house and car insurance, boiler cover and phone contracts.
See if there are subscriptions or direct debits for things that you no longer need or can use that you could cancel as that could also save you money.
Find debt solutions
Different debts can have different interest rates. So, paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first would also save you money. You could apply for a balance transfer to a lower or 0% interest rate product so what you pay goes towards the money you owe rather than interest.
It might help to explore Citizens Advice debt solutions to find out how to manage or get help with your debts.
Consult a financial advisor
A financial advisor can help you with financial planning. This can include decisions on mortgages, investments and savings but an independent financial advisor will charge a fee for their services
You can learn more about choosing a financial advisor here.
Learn more about budgeting
Expanding your knowledge on budgeting could help give you some financial freedom. A good start is to book an appointment with our Benefits and Money Clinic, in partnership with Citizens Advice.
Consider your employment
A brain tumour diagnosis can affect your ability to work. Find out more about what this could mean for you on our employment and brain tumours page. Here you can find resources to help you as well as access advice.
Support and Information Services
You can also join our active online community.
In this section
If you need someone to talk to or advice on where to get help, our Support and Information team is available by phone, email or live-chat.
Share your experiences and help create change
By taking part in our Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys and sharing your experiences, you can help us improve treatment and care for everyone affected by a brain tumour.