A lot has happened so far in 2020, and events such as the Coronavirus pandemic have caused many people to consider their own mortality, despite it being a difficult thing to think about.
As a result, you may be wondering what would happen to your children if you were suddenly no longer here, and what would happen to your property or your bills if you passed away - would your loved ones be left with the burden?
Talking about death is never easy, but it is something that you will need to consider at some point, before it’s too late.
By putting plans in place for the end of your life now, you will reduce the financial impact on your family and you will make things easier for those you leave behind, allowing them to grieve in peace for their loss.
If you’re worried about the future of your loved ones should anything happen to you, here are 5 things you could do right now to put your mind at ease and protect what matters to you the most.
1. Have a conversation with your loved ones to avoid family disputes
Speaking to your loved ones about your personal wishes in the event of your death may not be an easy task, but by doing so, you are giving them the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have and you are helping to get everything out in the open so that everyone knows where they stand.
This way, you avoid any potential family disputes arising after you pass away, which will be a truly difficult time for your family to deal with.
You may want to talk to them about your funeral preferences, for example, which is also something that should be included in your will. And you should also let them know where you keep any important documents.
Thousands of people have passed away without leaving any instructions to loved ones, which makes the whole process of grieving much harder to handle.
If possible, arrange a date and time to have an open and honest conversation with your loved ones about your last wishes. Once it’s out of the way, you and your loved ones will have peace of mind and everyone will know exactly where they stand.
2. Write a will
For most of us, we know that writing a will is important, but it tends to be one of those things that gets forgotten about, or it is assumed that it doesn’t need to be done until you’re older.
In February 2020, Royal London found that around 44% of homeowners have not written a will, either because it seems like a complicated process or because they feel they don’t have anything of value to pass on - despite owning a property.
Making a will is a highly important task for anyone who has specific wishes regarding their estate and how they want it to be shared out when they pass away. It is there to make sure that the right people get the inheritance you want them to. Without a will, your estate will be distributed per the UK’s Rules of Intestacy, which is unlikely to be what you want.
If you have a property, business, any pets, cash savings and/or any other valuable assets that you want to pass on to certain people, you will need to write a will, and you can do so from the comfort of your own home.
If you are living with your partner, it is also essential that you have a will, because the surviving partner will not be entitled to automatically receive any part of the estate that’s left behind by the deceased.
3. Consider your children's life without you
Again, this is no easy task, but it is something that must be done if you want to protect your children’s future.
Anything can happen at any given time, and it is important to think about what would happen to your children if you were suddenly no longer around.
In your will, you’ll need to appoint guardians for your children if you want them to be well looked-after in the event of your passing.
Think very carefully about the person or people you want as guardians for your children, and make sure you discuss with them if they would be happy to care for your child, or children, if something were to happen to you.
Once you’ve chosen your children's guardians, make sure you include them in your will.
4. Think about how your funeral will be arranged and paid for
According to the Money Advice Service, the average cost of a burial is around £4,321 and a cremation comes in at around £3,250, but it can differ significantly depending on a few varying factors, such as location and specific requests, for example.
Without any plans in place, your loved ones will have to find the money to pay for your funeral, and this can place a lot of pressure on an individual after losing someone, particularly if they may struggle to pay it.
If you have a plan in place for your funeral beforehand, however, your loved ones will be able to pay for your funeral without any stress, and they will be left alone to grieve for their loss in peace.
To do this, you should make any personal funeral wishes in your will very clear, including exact details of what money or savings will be used to pay for it.
Life insurance is also a useful safety blanket, which many people purchase in order to help pay towards funeral costs in the event of their death.
Read more: Funeral Costs Continue to Rise
5. Put your personal, financial and legal details into one document
In 2018, it was reported by life insurer Royal London that 1 in 3 people have had to deal with the financial affairs of a loved one who’s passed away, but only 23% of those people had a document that included the personal and financial information of the deceased person.
Most adults admit that they would find it difficult to manage the financial affairs of a loved one who died, which is why it is important to create a simple document that contains all of your personal and financial details, as this will help make the administration process easier for your family and loved ones.
For more advice and information on protecting your loved ones in the event of your passing, be sure to read our related guides: