RECENT media stories on new research by Macmillan Cancer Support shows the pain of not planning for death can leave bereaved loved ones experiencing emotional, financial and/or practical issues as a result of not knowing all of the deceased's wishes.

Almost one-in-four (23%) people recently bereaved did not know all of the deceased's wishes and have experienced one or more emotional, financial or practical issues as a result.

Issues included being unsure if the funeral was what the person would have wanted (19%), emotional distress over not knowing what their wishes were (14%) and having to front unexpected financial costs following the death (9%).

For many people living with cancer, having these things in order can give a sense of control.

But whatever stage of life you are at, tackling the important "death admin" and vital paperwork can help you feel less anxious about the future knowing that your practical and financial affairs are taken care of, so you can get on with living life as fully as you can.

Tanya Humphreys, Macmillan’s interim head of services, North West England.