While it might not be as exciting a list as Bucket List inclusions like:
1. Head to Base Camp;
2. Dive the Great Barrier Reef;
3. Have a Champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower;
4. Stay in a yurt in Mongolia;
5. or sleep in an Igloo under the Northern Lights… it’s definitely a very loving legacy to leave behind for those you care about.
Unfortunately, I’ve had to assist in unraveling affairs of those who instead leave behind a financial mess for their family to navigate. On top of grief, it’s a bitter pill to swallow when your financial affairs have not been left ‘in order.’ I know I’ve covered this issue before, but it’s so important to have finalised.
And I understand, it’s not a popular question to ponder and is likely hard to imagine, but what if something were to happen to you? Would your loved ones be taken care of or would they face a tough financial future? Do they know what your wishes are? Do you even have your important documents sorted?
The greatest gift you can leave your family and loved ones, is having your affairs sorted out before you go. Please don’t think of this as something morbid… it might seem like I’m backing up the hearse and asking you to smell the roses here… but this isn’t about you, I promise.
If you have made plans, do your loved ones know where to find them? Would they know what assets you have, what insurance policies are in place or how to access your superannuation or life insurance? Have they met your trusted advisers and know who to get in touch with if something were to happen? Have you kept them in touch with what your wishes are?
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect the important people in your life:
- Consolidate your assets and sort your bank accounts out
- Ensure your life insurance is adequate based on your current circumstances
- Make sure beneficiaries have been nominated (where possible) on your superannuation and insurance policies
- Chat with your partner about what you’d like to have happen in the event of the unexpected
- Ensure your Will is current – circumstances can change quickly!
- Have your arranged for an Enduring Power of Attorney or completed an Advanced Health Directive?
- Make sure those who need to know are aware of where your important documents are stored
Not everything will pass through your estate, so it’s wise to ensure you understand what forms estate assets and what stays outside.
Work through the list steadily and once it’s done, make sure it’s reviewed regularly. Your loved ones will be glad you did.