Fact – each one of us is going to die.
I’m afraid it’s one of life’s inevitabilities. Like it or not, it will happen. Some people will prepare for it whilst others will merely look the other way until the event happens.
Preparing is one of the best things you can do for those left behind. Leaving a mess for grieving relatives is not going to gain you any posthumous awards whereas ordered affairs will be gratefully received by our nearest and dearest.
So, what should you be thinking about?
The mechanics of your funeral and burial can be spelled out in your Will but it’s obviously a good idea to discuss it beforehand. How your assets are dealt with will also be part of your Will but, crucially, it is very unlikely to actually specify what they are.
Having a single source to refer to is an incredibly good idea and should cover as much of your affairs as possible.
The following is not an exhaustive checklist but it is a start that you can adapt to your own circumstances: –
- Will – where is it? Not a draft; not a copy; the original signed and witnessed document. Do you have it or is it with the Solicitor who drafted it or somewhere else? And, very importantly, is it up to date and conveys your correct wishes?
- Bank and building society accounts – list them out with account numbers. And remember, any accounts in your name alone will be frozen as soon as you die so make sure there is an emergency fund that can be accessed on your death. You could, for example, open a joint account with your spouse or a close relative to make sure there is money available for the inevitable immediate costs.
- Other assets – shareholdings, investments, property and valuables. What and where are they? And where are the documents proving they are yours e.g. share certificates?
- Pension plans – who are they with and what are the plan/policy/reference numbers? Don’t forget old company pensions too.
- Life assurance policies – again, who with and what are the policy numbers? Are they written in Trust? If so, who are the Trustees?
- Any other policies or accounts that may pay out on your death? For example, premium current accounts; credit card extras; home and contents insurance; car insurance. The latter may be particularly applicable in the event of accidental death.
Having compiled your list, don’t forget to tell your nearest and dearest where it can be found. And, if you do decide to save it electronically, make sure you tell them your password to access both your PC/laptop and the document(s). GDPR won’t help if your documents are locked away with codes that die with you!
If you’d like any help putting a document together with the necessary details, please speak to your Richmond House consultant or call us on 0333 241 3350.
Peter Murphy Dip PFS
This information is provided strictly for general consideration only. No action must be taken or refrained from based on its contents alone. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed for any loss occasioned about the content hereof and any such action or inaction. Professional advice is necessary for every case.
Richmond House Wealth Management Limited is registered in England (No 01842995). Registered Address: Premier House, Argyle Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2AD. Richmond House Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Reg No 144885). FCA does not regulate tax advice.