TLC talks…MINDFULNESS

TLC talks...
MINDFULNESS

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Last week we were joined LIVE on our Facebook Page by the lovely Ruth Farenga of Mindful Pathway.

Ruth is a qualified Mindfulness Trainer, Transformational Coach & Speaker. ⠀

We had an amazing chat with Ruth discussing what she does, who she helps (and how!) as well as getting a few tips on how to be more mindful and practise mindfulness.

Below we set out some of the questions and responses, but if you want to catch up with the video CLICK HERE!

Ruth’s contact details are below should you have any other questions, please do get in touch with her, she is so knowledgeable and above all else, just lovely to talk to!

So for the questions and the all important answers, (Not everything is down here and so to listen to the full interview CLICK HERE)…

We are here…joined by the amazing Ruth Farenga from mindful Pathway…

We work with a number of experts and often use them to ask questions for my business or my own personal life and we thought, why not open up their expertise to our clients and friends. 

So today we are talking to the lovely Ruth Farenga of Mindful Pathway.

Ruth has recently just gained an amazing achievement, do you want to tell us about that?

Yes, so just as a bit of brief history…I have been wanting to do one-to-one work for quite a while but everyone seems to be becoming a coach and using it as a badge but I started looking into proper accreditation in a way that I could be a great coach and really help people with their development. I discovered a really great provider, the EMCC –  European Mentoring and Coaching Council. I started an 18 months path with face-to-face training, group supervision, individual supervision (one-to-one support and practise) and then 50 hours where you are filmed coaching, get feedback and self-reflect. At the end of the day they decide whether you have passed or not, it was really good to get that!

That is a lot of work involved in that

I feel like it should be that way, if you are going to have the privilege of working one-to-one with people to help with their self-development then you want someone who is experienced and have done that qualification and done the work to facilitate the space of another.

A lot of people will call themselves a coach but it is more mentoring or advice given which is fine and very useful but coaching is facilitating the space of another to do their own thinking and to reach their potential, to go further in a way that is empowering. A coach should come in, help you believe in yourself, give you tools and allow you to move out of your own way.

Do you have a ‘typical’ client – does this differ across your services?

There are two major categories:

For the public, we do 8-week mindfulness courses, this is all about helping people find more happiness and balance through evidence based methods. These are approved by NICE and are based in St Albans. The typical person is between the ages of 30 and 55, but have people of all ages, we have had a 21 year old and a 75 year old, both men and women.

These are usually people that have lost their zest for life and so feel like they are on the treadmill and just going and going. Sometimes they have experienced anxiety or depression as it can help with relapses of that or people that want to improve their wellbeing if they are already involved in yoga and they want other sustained ways to be mindful.

This is a whole new way of being, sustainable practices of doing so.

The work side:

The typical client is an SME who want to help their staff flourish, be more productive and effective at work and they want to help train them in emotional intelligence and mindfulness.

We do a range of programs and one-to-one coaching, the one-to-one coaching is usually with leaders and a typical leader will be one that is stepping up into a new role and there may be some anxiety around that or there may be some personal distress in their life, maybe divorce or something else where they need a bit of extra support to meet the challenges of the job and see what the company want out of that person. There will be public goals as well as personal needs and the coaching is confidential.

So, you have just finished the 8-week course for the general public, what does it involve?

This is eight session of two-hours plus guided meditations and practises to do between sessions.

There are two teachers, myself and William.

We walk you through a new theme each week and the curriculum spirals to help you develop a new relationship with your thoughts and feelings.

People often think that mindfulness is all about achieving a state of calm, this is not true really, it is about developing a new relationship with thoughts and feelings and relating to stress differently.

We don’t reveal a whole lot about the course beforehand as it is supposed to be something that you follow and get in to.

We meditate, reflect, group share – although you don’t have to share but we evolve as a group and then at the end have a day retreat which is largely in silence.

It is amazing what can happen when the people do the practise and home-practise and approach things differently.

There is up to 18 in the group evening sessions, men and women and all of different ages. I always celebrate when people take the time to work on themselves…it is a radical act of kindness for you.

You do training for businesses and in workplaces, what sorts of things do you focus on?

Mindful leadership

This is a series of sessions, one on building self-awareness and working on self-awareness, one on mindful communication – learning to listen, empathise and relate, to be there for each other, the third is on building positive relationships and the last one is having difficult conversations. So, there are four workshops and then we do coaching in between.

The SMEs can really see the tangible effects.

Ruth kindly talked us through what was involved in a meditation

You also do Keynote Speaking…

Yes, on two main topics:

  • The science of mindfulness

This is all about the neurological change that goes on during meditation and how meditation can rewire your brain. This looks at the neurological change that goes on and we do some little taster experiences as well. We do some meditation and reflect in pairs, then look at the neurological change that happens.

  • Mindful Leadership

This looks at how emotional intelligence can make the difference in business and how mindfulness training helps people perform better at work.

This can therefore be about performing better personally but also helps the company and makes the company perform better and make more money.

You also do mindfulness courses, for small groups and I know we get a small insight into this on the first Monday of each month where you do a brief Mindfulness webinar on Facebook…

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MindfulPathway/

On the first Monday of every month, I do ‘Start the Month Mindfully’ at 1pm on my Facebook Page.

This is a 20-minute mini session and meditation.

When you work with a client on a one-to-one basis is there usually a common outcome or does this completely depend on the client – is this something you can work out at the outset or is it a process?

One-to-one clients will tend to be leaders in companies although I do work with a few members of the public too.

This is usually for leaders that want more clarity and it is all about empowering them to move forward.  They will usually come to me feeling foggy in the brain and stressed and they won’t have much balance but will be looking for ways to move forward, usually quite ambitious and unsure how to move forward.

I have learnt tools and techniques and a lot is about presence and listening, this is very powerful and allows a space to open up for that person to solve their problem. It isn’t always about fixing a problem but opening up an environment for them to work through things.

Common outcomes might be; reaching their potential at work, or moving roles, or even more space to think. There may also be areas to work on such as family and being more present when you are with your family.

Ruth gave us some top tips for listening and also for sharing with others in a mindful way

Book Recommendations:

Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

By Nancy Kline

Mindfulness: Finding peace in a frantic world

By J. Mark G. Williams

Thank you so much Ruth!

Ruth also prepared a great article for us on: Mindfulness over the Festive Period

Ruth Farenga

Mindful Pathway

Ruth@mindfulpathway.co.uk

https://mindfulpathway.co.uk/

We will be taking a break in December from our Expert Talks but we will be back in the New Year – how quick has this year gone!

As always, if there are any experts or talks you would like to hear, then please do get in touch – either drop a comment below or message us privately.

Follow us on Facebook for more information and to get your questions in early!

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Direct Cremation

Direct Cremation

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Let’s face it, the majority of us want to avoid talking about Funerals, let alone our own!

However, if we really think about it, there are probably a few things we would like and so it is important to get out wishes down whilst we can.

The expense of a Funeral can be a large burden on our nearest and dearest at an awful time and with so many possibilities and considerations, the choices really can be endless.

So, one option is Direct Cremation but what is that, what does it involve and why should you consider it?

We take a look below…

A Direct Cremation takes place without a Funeral Service and most Funeral Directors will now offer this in addition to the traditional Funeral Service options.

A Direct Cremation can benefit those that are looking to keep costs down as well as those with few or no family. As we know, the costs of Funeral can be high and, if not planned for in advance, can leave a heavy strain on your loved ones. A Direct Cremation can also save money on an expensive coffin as there will be no Funeral Ceremony and so no procession.

This type of Cremation is also of benefit for those that do not want a big fuss, or service or would prefer their family and friends to have an alternative celebration away from the actual Funeral Service. Some may leave monies or wishes in relation to holidays, experiences or the like for their family to enjoy in their memory rather than a formal and traditional Funeral Service.

However, some of the possible downsides that you may want to consider are…

When a Direct Cremation takes place, as there is no Funeral Service this does mean that there is nothing for family or friends to attend or leave flowers at and there will be no opportunity (at a Service) for readings or eulogies. There is also no opportunity for viewing on a Chapel of Rest and no choice as to the time and place of the Cremation as this is scheduled by the Funeral Director as no one is able to attend.

Thus, although a Direct Cremation may seem like a good idea for you, and may be preferential in terms of costs, it may be worth considering any friends and families and how they may want to celebrate your life following your death.

As we said at the beginning, talking about Funerals is not a subject that any of us really enjoy.

We outline some of the other potential considerations in our article: What to consider when planning a Funeral

If you have any questions or want to discuss putting a funeral plan in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free, relaxed and considerate discussion on how we can help

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Mindfulness over the Festive Period

Mindfulness over the Festive Period

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On Wednesday 27 November 2019 at 8pm we will be chatting LIVE on our Facebook Page to Ruth Farenga about the importance of Mindfulness over the festive period.

 

Ahead of our chat, Ruth has written this piece for us on giving and attending mindfully…

 

Service – sounds like a chore already, doesn’t it? And when we think of upcoming festive season, we may feel some excitement at the festivities coupled with a weight of how much we’re physically and mentally going to need to do for others. How much giving can we do?

But can we approach things differently? Not only in terms of our attitude and motivations but also in the way in which we attend to people that we are serving.

Why be an altruist?

Altruism is defined as ‘unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others’ (Miriam Webster Dictionary).

Functional MRI scans show that altruistic and giving behaviours activate the brain’s mesolimbic reward system, an area that is stimulated when we are rewarded. The implication here is that this ‘giving behaviour’ may give us a euphoric physical sensation, or a ‘helper’s high’ and can improve emotional wellbeing and reduce stress in the long term (Doing Good Does You Good report, The Mental Health Foundation, 2012).

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself…

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Taking it a step further – the true altruist

It can be tempting to calculate the benefits of our altruism like they do in the effective altruist movement – whereby we think about the things we will get back from doing something good.

How often do you hear someone say, ‘I’m not going to get them a present because they don’t get me one’? 

As though life has to be some kind of calculated equal exchange.

Eckhart Tolle argues that while doing good for your own reward may benefit people, it does have the effect of strengthening your ego and does not make you free. The ego is effectively the image of ourselves that we often seek to strengthen. If we can let go of that image, even just momentarily, and allow ourselves not to be rewarded, we’re freeing ourselves from the chains of such affirmation, – freeing ourselves from the neediness of boosting the ego and just allowing the act of giving to be just as it is.

A mindful touch

The way in which we give attention is key. When we are preparing food for relatives or friends, are we rushing through just to finish or can we apply a kind of mindful attention to what we are doing.

Can we truly see the colour of the food we prepare, and listen as the knife crushes into each item? Can we feel the soap suds as we wash up and watch as the plates glisten on the draining board? We may even like to Press Pause as I have discussed in a previous blog on my website www.MindfulPathway.co.uk.

Can we bring our mind back each time it wanders (as they so often do) to truly attend to the moment? Each moment is special, especially when we’re actually there.

Giving and attending to what we give has true power.

I’ll leave you with these words

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill

For more information contact Ruth Farenga here or join us on our LIVE CHAT on Wednesday 27 November 2019 at 8pm on our Facebook Page.

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Ruth Farenga

Starting a conversation about the ‘Elephant in the Room’

Starting a conversation about the ‘Elephant in the Room’

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With over 30million people in the UK without a Will, there are so many reasons that it is one of those things that gets put off, moves down the ‘To-Do List’ and sometimes just never ever gets done BUT it doesn’t have to be the difficult conversation that many expect!

Many of us put off making a Will because we don’t want to tempt fate or presume that those we want to take care of will be able to inherit our assets anyway but that isn’t always the case.

Where there is no Will, the Rules of Intestacy kick in and this means that you lose control over who you would want to inherit and this is chosen for you…

So, if you are one of those 30million that have been putting off making a Will, or have a Will that may need updating, why not take a look at some of these considerations…

Who do you want to inherit your Estate?

We all would like to think we are immortal, right?

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and so we should have consideration for who we would want to benefit from everything we have worked hard for, when we are no longer around.

This will depend on your circumstances and is likely to change at different stages of your life, depending on your relationships, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, perhaps even godchildren or second marriages.

Estate Valuation

The value of your Estate is calculated by totalling everything that you possess, own or have an interest in at the date of your death (this will include property – residential, buy-to-lets, commercial and holiday homes), money, bank accounts, savings, ISAs, Stocks & Shares, Cars, Jewellery and personal possessions.

Any liabilities or debts will then be deducted from this total, including mortgages, loans, utility bills, credit cards plus any funeral expenses.

Inheritance Tax

If your Estate valuation totals more than £325,000 then you may have an Inheritance Tax Liability. However, there are other reliefs available including relief if you are leaving your residential property to direct descendants, if you have any business assets and if you are married or in a civil partnership and leaving your estate to your spouse or civil partner. It is worthwhile seeking advice from a professional in order to ensure you are taking advantage of all the reliefs that may be available to you.

There may also be other options available to you, depending on your Estate Valuation, your income and projected needs over your lifetime, in terms of Trusts and Financial planning to reduce any Inheritance Tax liability, again it is worthwhile seeking expert advice in relation to this.

Gifting

You may well benefit from making gifts during your lifetime, but this may not be possible for everyone.

Once you have a better idea of your Estate Valuation, who you want to benefit from your Estate upon your passing and whether you have any Inheritance Tax Liability, you may want to consider whether you could benefit from making gifts during your lifetime.

Each of us is able to make gifts of £3,000 each year without attracting any Inheritance Tax liability (and we can carry this over for one-year too!).

However, any gifts that exceed this may still be liable for Inheritance Tax if made within seven years of your death…again, we would recommend seeking professional advice if you are considering making gifts during your lifetime.

Wishes

Do your loved ones know what your plans are for the future, do you have certain expectations in relation to your later life care (this could be dealt with in a Lasting Power of Attorney) or perhaps even your funeral?

You may even want to give gifts in your Will with a condition attached (upon reaching a certain age, to be used for certain circumstances or only to be received upon meeting a condition).

Setting these out can be really helpful, not only in giving you peace of mind but also in preventing any unnecessary arguments or disputes when you are no longer around.

Charities

Another consideration that may be worth thinking about, is whether you would like to leave anything to Charity upon your passing.

If you are leaving 10% or more of your Estate to a Charity then your Inheritance Tax Liability will be reduced from 40% to 36%.

We are always happy to have a free chat to answer any questions that you may have, offer advice or help you to put something in place.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss putting a Will in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free consultation

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Will the Government Inherit my Assets?

Will the Government Inherit my Assets?

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Without a Will in place, everything that you have worked hard for is left beyond your control. Having a Will in place (that is up to date!) is the only way to ensure that the people you want to benefit from everything that you have worked hard for, actually do!

In the absence of a Will, the Rules of Intestacy decode where your hard earned assets end up and this may not be where you would have chosen…

There are more than 30 million people in the UK without a Will, so if you haven’t got your in place yet, you are not alone! BUT, that is no excuse to sit back and relax!

Many of us put off the talks around later life planning for fear of tempting fate or upsetting someone but this has led to an eye-watering £48million of deceased property being unclaimed and so passing to the Crown!

Something else you may want to consider is, whether Care Home fees will be eating into everything you have worked for…

These talks do not have to be all doom and gloom!

That is where we come in!

We are more than happy to discuss what you want, put plans in place and give advice. Whilst none of us want to expect the worst, we should always plan for it…having peace of mind that we are covered no matter what happens is a great feeling!

So, instead of avoiding those all important conversations like the plague, open up the conversation, discuss it with your family and if you need advice, have any questions or want to get something in place…set up a FREE CONSULTATION with us.

 

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a free consultation, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk

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What is Inheritance Tax and how can I reduce it?

What is Inheritance Tax and how can I reduce it?

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Most of us will pay taxes for a large proportion of our lives and then still leave our loved ones with a tax bill to pay upon our death for Inheritance Tax…it doesn’t seem fair does it?

So what exactly is Inheritance Tax? When is it payable and is there anything that you can do to reduce your Inheritance Tax bill?

Let’s take a look…

Inheritance Tax only becomes payable on death and is calculated taking into consideration the value of everything that you own at the date of your death and including any gifts that you made within the seven years prior to your death. Any debts or liabilities that you have at the date of your death will be deducted from the value of your assets and this final balance is what is used to calculate whether any Inheritance Tax is payable.

If you are leaving your assets (property, money, personal possessions etc.) to your spouse or civil partner then this will be exempt from Inheritance Tax, as are any gifts made to Charities.

However, anything left to children or anyone else will be subject to Inheritance Tax where the value exceed the Inheritance Tax Threshold.

The Inheritance Tax Threshold is currently set at £325,000 per person and an additional £150,000 can be claimed if you are passing your residential property to a direct descendent (children / grandchildren), this is termed the Residential Nil Rate Band. The figure of £150,000 is set to rise to £175,000 in April of 2020 meaning that each person will have £500,000 before having to pay Inheritance Tax. This is also transferable between spouses and civil partners, meaning that if you pass everything to your spouse or civil partner upon your death then no Inheritance Tax will be payable and from 2020 (if both your death and your spouse/civil partner passes after April 2020) then your Estate can total £1million before any Inheritance Tax is payable.

If your estate is worth more than £2million then you lose the right to claim all of the Residential Nil Rate Band, thus for every £2 over the £2million valuation, you will lose £1 of the Residential Nil Rate Band.

Inheritance Tax is payable at 40% of anything above the Inheritance Tax Threshold (or Nil Rate Band).

If you are leaving 10% or more of your Estate to Charity (whether one or multiple Charities) then your rate of Inheritance Tax will be reduced to 36%.

Now, we mentioned above that any gifts made in the seven years prior to your death will be taken into account when calculating the value of your Estate. HOWEVER, if these gifts were made from surplus income then they do not need to be taken into account when calculating your Inheritance Tax liability. We all benefit from a £3,000 allowance each year which we are able to gift before Inheritance Tax become payable and so it may well be important to consider this when assessing the value of a deceased loved one’s Estate.

There may be other exemptions on gifts that you can benefit from such as gifts on marriage, you can find out more about this in our article – Inheritance Tax: What can be done to reduce your exposure? 

Another consideration that we would always advise looking at is putting your property into a Trust, meaning that upon their death the property passes to whoever they want it to (perhaps their children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews) but their spouse is entitled to benefit from the property and live there until their death or until they remarry (if this happens). This not only has the benefit of protecting the property for your intended beneficiary but also protects you and your spouse if the property is valued in relation to Care Fees as the share in Trust will not be taken into consideration.

As always, we would always recommend reviewing your Will regularly to ensure that it still does exactly what you want it to and that you have considered possible benefits and exemptions that you could benefit from.

Check out our article – Inheritance Tax: What can be done to reduce your exposure? For more information on reducing your Inheritance Tax liability.

If you would like to discuss your Inheritance Tax liability, or putting a Will in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free consultation

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What to do after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

What to do after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

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Whether receiving a diagnosis for yourself or a loved one, it is a very difficult time, so much information to take in and lots of changes on the horizon. It can be overwhelming.

Depending on where you are on your journey when the diagnosis takes place, may depend on the amount of information you already have and what is available.

Here we set out a simple list of steps that should be taken upon diagnosis to help you set off on the right path…

Knowledge is Power

You may have had experience with Alzheimer’s or Dementia before, or this may well be your first encounter, either way there may be symptoms that you are not aware of or have not experienced before.

The more you can learn the better. The phrase “forewarned is forearmed” comes to mind. The more we know, the better we can prepare.

There is a lot of support around online, groups, professionals, carers, families and individuals that have also been diagnosed all navigating a similar journey. Linking up with these groups and support can be beneficial mentally and emotionally.

Allow yourself to feel

As we have said, receiving a diagnosis for yourself or a loved one, is a very difficult time, so much information to take in and lots of changes on the horizon. Allowing yourself to go through the emotions you are feeling is okay.

You are not superhuman or a robot and taking time to acknowledge and process those emotions is invaluable.

There is no ‘correct path’ of emotions to take and so feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment and disbelief are all natural feelings.

Getting into a Routine

Getting organised and into a routine can really help, not only in terms of getting into good habits but to help set out early where everyone is, what should be done when and to know what is expected when. This is vital as the Alzheimer’s or Dementia progresses as routine and structure will be a necessity.

Alzheimer’s affects memory and so having a structured routine can help keep track of medication, appointments, activities and day-to-day tasks.

Routine can help to reduce stress, anxiety and frustration and increase independence and feelings of security.

Ensure your LEGAL and FINANCIAL affairs are in order

Managing your financial and legal affairs is impossible once capacity is lost. 

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia does not automatically mean that capacity is lost and so arranging the correct legal authorities are in place, whilst you have capacity to do so is vital.

You may consider reviewing your Will but also putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place so that the person that you choose, and trust, has the authority to deal with your matters (financial, property, health and welfare) when you are no longer able to do so.  

We are always happy to have a free chat with you about this – CLICK HERE

Look at what CAN be done

Once a diagnosis is received is very easy to see this as a disabling disease that will only get worse and therefore discount capabilities, activities and all those things that were much loved prior to the diagnosis.

THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THE CASE!

It is so important to consider what can still be achieved, the preferences, opinions and desires of the person living with Alzheimer’s.

A diagnosis doesn’t always mean that a person is incapable and they won’t necessarily lose their desire to carry out those activities that they used to love. Being able to carry this on for as long as is safe can be great for independence, self-esteem not to mention physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Consider a Care Plan

It is inevitable that as the Alzheimer’s or Dementia progresses the need for care will increase, as will appointments with an array of professionals.

There may be a range of people helping with care, loved ones, family, friends and professionals, and a care plan can assist with setting out who is responsible for what, what is expected and when this is expected.

Having a plan for now, as well as having discussions about what may be needed as the condition progresses, and how this could be catered for can save a lot of stress in the future.

Diagnosis is NOT the End

It is natural to feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel or struggle to see what there is to be grateful for when receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia as the road ahead can seem somewhat bleak and overwhelming however, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Taking into account point 5 above and looking at what can be done means that it is not the end…fun can still be had, knowledge can still be gained and relationships can still develop. 

Yes, things will be different but that does not mean it has to be worse.

You are NOT alone

Remember, whether you are the one that has been diagnosed, a loved one or caregiver…you are NOT alone.

There are lots of support groups out there, those that you can attend locally and National support groups that you can access online.

We have a list of upcoming events that maybe local to you on our website HERE.

There are no stupid questions and so we should not be afraid to ask for help or assistance.

Everyone’s journey is different, neither right nor wrong. We all have different experiences and can learn something new.

 

If you would like a free chat to see how we can help or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Dementia TLC

Did you know we have a whole website dedicated to Dementia, those living with Dementia and their Caregivers?

Check it out HERE!

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Leah Waller

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What to consider when planning a Funeral

What to consider when planning a Funeral

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Is there anyone that really wants to discuss planning their funeral…maybe a few but the majority of us avoid it like, well, the plague!

However, if we really think about it, there are probably a few things we would like and things we would definitely NOT want at our funeral but we won’t be there to help with the planning so it is important to get out wishes down whilst we can.

Putting a funeral plan in place allow you to not only get your funeral wishes document but also to pay for your funeral directors fees in advance removing that burden from your loved ones when the time comes.

After the death of a loved one the last thing our relatives need is the added stress, anxiety and arguments caused by deciding exactly what we would have wanted…a funeral plan can remove all of that. Unfortunately, arguments over what we may have wanted could cause divides within our family and this is something none of us want! 

So, a funeral is a funeral right? What is there to think about?

Below we have listed a few things that you may want to consider when putting your funeral wishes in place:

Cremation or Burial?

Cremation

Following the ceremony and cremation itself the remaining ashes can be given to a loved one to keep or scatter as they wish or as you direct in your funeral wishes.

Direct Cremation

If you opt for a Direct Cremation then your body is taken from the funeral director to the crematorium and the cremation takes place without a service, this means that there will be no friends or family in attendance. The ashes can still be collected by a loved one to keep or scatter as they wish or as you direct in your funeral wishes.

Traditional Burial

A traditional burial will mean that your body and coffin will be buried in a grave, usually at a cemetery or churchyard. If you would prefer to be buried, enquiries into a burial plot and reserving your plot may be required and this is something that is best to look into beforehand.

Natural or Woodland Burial

Having a burial at a Natural or Woodland burial grounds is becoming ever more popular. With a Natural or Woodland burial is allowed to decompose in an environmentally friendly manner and the coffins are biodegradable.

If I am cremated, what happens to the ashes?

Possible options for your ashes following a cremation include:

  • Scattering at a favourite or memorable place;
  • Scattering at a memorial garden
  • Scattering at sea
  • A loved one keeping them in an urn
  • Burying with passed loved ones
  • Having them made into a keepsake (jewellery, art etc.)

What about the type of Coffin?

The type of coffin may not be important to you but some may want to take a traditional approach or a much more environmentally friendly approach and so the choice of coffin may well be important. Some options include:

  • Wooden (traditional)
  • Cardboard (could be personalised with photographs)
  • Wicker
  • Wool (biodegradable)

Religious or Non-Religious Ceremony?

This will very much depend on you as an individual and your beliefs. This may also depend on whether you would like a loved one or friend to conduct the ceremony for you or whether you would like a Celebrant (Church Minister, Civil Celebrant or Humanist Officiant) to do this.

Religious Ceremony

If you are religious you may well choose a religious ceremony and can also include your favourite hymns, prayers or readings.

Humanist Ceremony

A humanist ceremony does not include any religious content and will be 

focused on celebrating your life and experiences. These ceremonies can 

include poems, music and readings and you can also choose to have loved one’s speak in addition to the Humanist Officiant.

Civil Service

A civil service is often seen as the compromise between a religious and 

humanist ceremony, offering a service that looks at the life of the individual and includes some religious content.

These ceremonies can include poems, music and readings as well as hymns and prayers.

How will you be transported to the crematorium or place of burial?

Some options, whether opting for something traditional or a little different, include:

  • Hearse (traditional)
  • Eco-Hearse (electric and so environmentally friendly)
  • Vintage Hearse
  • Motorcycle
  • Trike
  • Horse-Drawn Hearse

Flowers

It is completely up to you whether you would like flowers at your funeral, and if 

you do what flowers you would like.

If you would prefer that flowers were not used or instead donations were made to a preferred charity or cause then this could be included within your funeral plan and wishes.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but may give you a few things to think about if you are considering putting a funeral plan in place and removing all these decisions from your loved ones at what will already be a very difficult time for them.

If you would like more information or to discuss putting a funeral plan in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free, relaxed and considerate discussion on how we can help

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How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube: What’s the Link?

How to Solve the Rubik’s: What’s the Link?

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Rubik’s Cubes and Total Legacy Care…what is the link?

This is something that we are SO SO passionate about so, let us enlighten you!

As a legal firm, we protect our clients with Lasting Powers of Attorney but we wanted to do something to go the extra mile for our clients. That’s when we decided to help our clients to not only protect themselves if they were to lose capacity in the future, by putting Lasting Powers of Attorneys in place, but ensure they take measures to keep their minds active and have some fun in the process. Learning to solve the Rubik’s Cube has some amazing benefits…

The Rubik’s Cube is often referred to as the IMPOSSIBLE TOY but everyone recognises the iconic cube and it often brings back memories from childhood, whether that be elation at solving the cube or frustration at not being able to!

We are so passionate about the positive benefits that the Rubik’s Cube can have that we have committed to giving each of our clients a Rubik’s Cube when we have finished registering their Lasting Powers of Attorney BUT WHY?

The Rubik’s Cube is not only for the younger generations but for ALL of us! Some of the benefits that we have already seen from our voluntary projects include; improved dexterity and coordination, memory improvement as well as a reduction in anxiety, getting social, engagement and socialising with others (and maybe even those that you wouldn’t usually!).

So, what exactly do TLC do?

Not only are we great believers in the positive benefits of the Rubik’s Cube at any age, we are always keen to HAVE FUN!

We give a Rubik’s Cube to each client upon registration of their Lasting Powers of Attorney and have just finished recording our videos that will teach YOU how to solve the Rubik’s Cube in just EIGHT steps! 

A Lasting Power of Attorney in relation to your Health and Welfare only comes into effect when you have lost capacity (either physically or mentally,  or both) and are unable to make decisions for yourself, whereas a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can come into effect immediately upon registration or upon losing capacity, depending on your decision. So, here at TLC we don’t just want to help you in the future…we want to help you now! Hence the Rubik’s Cube. We genuinely believe that the positive benefits of the Rubik’s Cube, learning to solve it and keeping your mind active each day will have lasting effects on your health and wellbeing going forward and so that is our gift to you.

We currently run projects throughout Care Homes and Day Centres to teach people, largely the older generation (we are talking 30plus, so definitely not old!), how to SOLVE THE RUBIK’S CUBE.

We have taken solving the Rubik’s cube and simplified it to open it up to all ages and abilities. Through trial and error, and with the help of a group of elderly participants, we have devised a course of eight sessions with simple videos to accompany them. The videos will be released on FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER and will be available on our website and on YouTube (so, keep your eyes peeled).

Our main aim is to HAVE FUN but solving the Rubik’s Cube keeps the mind active and has already demonstrated that is is key in helping the residents within a Care Home or Day Centre setting to learn (or re-learn) a skill – solving the Rubik’s cube, whilst having the benefits of improving their hand-eye coordination and giving them something a bit different from the norm.

We are keen to explore a link between solving the Rubik’s Cube and stimulating and improving short-term memory (similar to those studies with Sudoku, Crosswords and chess), a symptom of Dementia that is common across most types of the condition. Keeping the mind active has numerous benefits and can keep connections within the brain communicating to improve a person’s daily activities and communication skills.

At present we are often found in Care Homes and Day Centres teaching our lessons on how to solve the Rubik’s Cube, we are currently in talks with an Autism Charity to develop a scheme for them too as the benefits for those with Autism could be just as positive and rewarding!

This is a project we are super passionate about and are always happy to discuss.

If this is something that you would be interested in for yourself,or a group that you are involved in or just want to have a chat or find out more, please do GET IN TOUCH!

And, if Lasting Powers of Attorney is something that you have been thinking about, or putting off, now is a great time to get your plans in place!

Before we go…

We couldn’t write an article about this without mentioning our latest involvement with Rubik’s:

🏆GUINNESS WORLD RECORD🏆

We are so proud to be a part of the Guinness World Record for… 

The most contributions to a Rubik’s Mosaic. With 308 individuals contributing to the final mosaic, it was a brilliant achievement!

Thank you so much to Rubik’s Brand Limited and Torgeir Amundsen (Cube Arting) and CONGRATULATIONS!

 

We absolutely LOVE teaching all generations how to solve the Rubik’s Cube and it was our pleasure to help as many as we could to be involved in the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD! 🧡

Solving the Rubik’s Cube has so many POSITIVE BENEFITS!

 

If you would like more information, to discuss a project with 

a group you are involved with, 

or are thinking about putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, 

call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk

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Leah Waller

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Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict the future?

Wouldn't it be great if we could predict the future?

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We all have busy lives and so sometimes just predicting what today is going to ring is an achievement, let alone way into the future! It would be great though, wouldn’t it 😉

Unfortunately, none of us know what is just around the corner and so planning for it is key. That is where Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) come in! LPAs are relevant during your lifetime and ensure that someone that you trust and have appointed as your Attorney can act on your behalf when you are unable to. Check out our article, Why Do YOU need an LPA? 5 reasons YOU should put your LPA in place for more information on LPAs.

We all know that age is going to hit us hard at some point but that ‘point’ is way off in the future, right? Unfortunately, this may not be the case…

Just looking at a few celebrities, we can see that an LPA may be needed a lot sooner than we would have hoped!

Chris Tarrant was just 67 years of age when he suffered a stroke that led to an emergency operation and ongoing rehabilitation to help him to regain his speech and physical movement.

Michael Schumacher was only 44 years old when a skiing accident resulted in him being placed into a medically induced coma (for six months!) and suffering life-threatening head injuries. 

Micahel Schmacher is a father of two children, who were aged just 14 and 16 at the time of the accident.

Richard Hammond was involved in an awful car accident whilst filming for Top Gear at the age of just 37 causing major brain damage after being in a coma for two-weeks, this also led to significant memory loss and depression.

However, it is not just celebrities that this happens to and when we take a look at the facts, they are hard-hitting! Just a couple of statistics for you:

  • Every 90-SECONDS, someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with a brain injury;
  • Every THREE-MINUTES, someone in the UK is diagnosed with Dementia (and this is not just a condition that affects those over 65!);
  • Every FIVE-MINUTES, someone in the UK suffers from a stroke;
  • One in Six people within the UK will have a stroke during their lifetime;

 

So, enough of the doom and gloom….

What can we do to ensure we are protected, plan for our future and our family’s future and give us some much needed peace of mind?

The answer is a simple one…. Get your Lasting Powers of Attorney in place whilst you still have capacity to do so!

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  • Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney; and
  • Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney.

(to find out more about these check out our article Why do I need an LPA?)

An LPA allows you to appoint an Attorney, or Attorneys, to make decisions for you, and on your behalf when you are unable to. This could just be a temporary measure due to a temporary loss of capacity either physically or mentally or a more permanent arrangement.

You can give your Attorneys guidance and state your preferences, should you choose to do so, within your LPAs and set out the extent of the power that you want your Attorneys to have.

 

So, what if you don’t get around to getting these all important LPAs in place?

If you do not  register LPAs whilst you have the capacity to do so then you lose control to a certain extent as it is then for your loved ones, or a professional, to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order in order to manage your financial affairs on your behalf. 

This process is costly – a court fee of £385, not to mention legal fees if you seek legal advice and potentially a fee for a professional to verify your lack of capacity to support the application being made, and timely – the application can take around 4 months to be granted from the date of submission however, if there are objections made to the application then this process can take 9-12 months!

Once you have lost capacity you lose the ability to choose who you want to appoint to manage your affairs for you and ultimately the choice is left to the Court of Protection – this may not be who you would have chosen had you been able to make the choice yourself. 

You also lose the opportunity to give guidance to your appointed Attorneys and advise of your preferences.

In relation to your health and welfare, if you do not make an LPA to cover this whilst you have the capacity to the Court of Protection will be reluctant to appoint a Deputy in relation to your healthcare decisions unless the circumstances are extremely complex. Again, meaning you lose the control to appoint who you trust to make decisions on your behalf.

Getting an LPA in place doesn’t have to be complicated, time consuming or expensive and can ensure that you have peace of mind and take the burden away from those closest to you.

 

If you would like a free chat to see how we can help or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

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Leah Waller

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