The importance of financial planning before death

The week before Christmas I attended a funeral procession of a woman who had suddenly died after facing complications during a routine operation. She was 41 years old and left her husband and young child behind. 

Attending this procession, made me think how would they cope with the grief and loss but also what would happen to her successful business that she had run for years. Had she put plans in place in case of such an outcome? 

Our partnership with Beyond has emphasised the importance of writing a will and we regularly encourage our clients to put something in place. We also encourage our clients to look at their finances and put a plan in place that will protect their families in the event of an illness or death. 

Good financial planning before death will make sure you or your family are ready to meet any of the costs that might arise and also allow you to provide for your loved ones and ease the burden on them. 

We provide our clients with a financial fact sheet that clearly lists all of their finances such as details of their spending, sources of income, debts and any savings, investments or property. We then report on this list each year with any information that might have changed such as an increase in investment value. This kind of information makes things much easier for anyone you later ask to help manage your affairs. 

What happens when you die?

If you die without making a will, the law specifies how your money will be divided and this doesn’t guarantee your assets will be passed on in the way you would prefer. That is why we encourage our clients to write a will and we would recommend doing this with Beyond. 

In addition to a will, there are steps you can take to minimise the amount of Inheritance Tax that must be paid on your estate. 

Funeral costs can also be expensive but we have some clients who have earmarked savings for funeral expenses or have paid instalments into a funeral plan. Making plans about your own funeral now can be really helpful to your relatives after your death and will give them guidance when completing your funeral plans. 

Discuss the potential for a power of attorney. You need to do this when you are mentally sound and able to take the decisions yourself, even doing these many years in advance isn’t a problem. 

If you have children under 18 years old, you will need to discuss with your family who would look after them after you have gone. This is a difficult conversation to have but don’t put it off. Making plans now will help to ensure they are safe and cared for if the worst happens. This information can then be included in your will and these individuals would be named as legal guardians. 

Our advice to clients is that none of us know when we will die but there is no reason why we can’t factor this into our financial planning before death to ensure we protect our loved ones who are left behind. 

If you would like a financial health check or make changes to your investments to safeguard your children in the case of death, please get in touch today.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Will writing or Estate Planning.

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