Sorting out your affairs

Managing debt

If the costs of living with cancer have caused you to fall into debt, you can take the following steps to regain control of your finances.

Firstly, check you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled.  Many people with cancer miss out on benefits which are rightfully theirs.  Contact the Macmillan Benefits advisors on 0300 123 3233 to ensure you are receiving all the support you are entitled to.

It is important to prioritise your debts.  It is crucial to deal with the most important ones firs, for example, mortgage, rent arrears and utilities such as gas, electricity and water.  Contact the organisations involved to discuss a reduced payment amount.  Most companies prefer to come to this kind of agreement rather than taking matter to court.

It is also helpful to let your creditors know why you are having financial problems.

You could also try your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Money Advice Centre.  These contacts are detailed in our ‘Additional sources of advice section’.

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service is a charity that provides free and confidential professional counselling, and help with money management.  Please contact them on:

Freephone 0800 138 1111 or visit their website at

Making a will

A will is a way of making sure your wishes are carried out after you die.   If you leave a will, your executor will carry out its instructions.  An executor is someone you nominate to sort out your money and property after you die.  It may be a relative or friend, or a professional person such as a solicitor or bank manager.

For more information on wills, please visit:

Community Legal Service Direct

Community Legal Service Direct is the website of Community Legal Services and has     useful information on wills and probate.

If I should die 

You can find a helpful section about wills and probate on this website.

The Law Society (NI) 

This website can help answer questions like ‘Why should I make a will?’ in straightforward and simple terms and tells you what will happen to your assets and property if you choose not to make a will.

When someone dies

Losing a loved one to cancer can be one of the hardest things any of us can go through.  When you have cancer it can also be hard to think of dying or your own death.

Here are some possible sources of information, advice and support if someone close to you has died, or if you are thinking about your own death.

If I should die

This website is aimed at everyone, whether they are considering their own death, coping with the death of a loved one, thinking about making a will or just needing some comforting words to help write a letter to a bereaved friend or family member.

Bereavement Helpline

Is part of the Social Security Agency and it is a number you can ring to get benefits stopped for someone who has passed away.  This is available on 0800 0852 463

Support for the bereaved

The Way Foundation provides a self-help social and support network for men and women widowed up to the age of 50, and their children. The main aim is to help those widowed young to rebuild their lives by helping one another. There are groups running around the country.

Planning for a funeral 

Age Concern provides information on what happens when someone dies, how to arrange a funeral, financial help, organ donation, useful addresses and suggestions for further reading.

Cruse bereavement care

Cruse bereavement care provides support whenever or however the death occurred and services are provided by trained, experienced volunteers. Cruse offers face-to-face, group, phone, email and online support.

Local charities

Local charities also offer bereavement counselling, please contact the Macmillan information and support manager on 028 9442 4000 ext 333079 or mobile 07795845435 to find out if there is a local charity near you who can help.