The past year has put things firmly into perspective and has highlighted just how uncertain life can be.
With health at the forefront of everyone's minds, our attention naturally turns to our loved ones and how we can protect them. One thing that ties these two things together is end of life planning and legacy.
It’s clear that there’s been an increase in people writing wills and making funeral plans during the pandemic. There are still many people overlooking the importance of end of life planning, with many unsure of where or even how even they might start.
Here are some areas to look at.
Protecting your loved ones
When it comes to it, you plan your estate for your loved ones more than you do yourself. In the event of your death, you want to make sure they are protected, looked after and receive everything that should rightfully be theirs.
This includes appointing a legal guardian for young children, leaving assets in your will or even ensuring that all of your assets are easily available to them.
The proliferation of digital banking over the past decade means we now have far fewer physical cards. Finding the accounts, shares, bonds and other assets that you have can be challenging, not only for your loved ones, but for the probate specialist they instruct, as well.
It is becoming an increasing problem in the industry with an estimated £70bn of unclaimed assets in the UK, alone. Effective end of life planning revolves around ensuring the proper protection of your loved ones, and in easily facilitating their access to your estate.
Open the conversation
Talking, or even thinking about death, can be overwhelming. For many, it is still very much a taboo topic, one which ends up being skirted around more often than not.
Whether we like it or not, however, death is a fact of life, and we unquestionably need to get better, as a nation, at talking about it.
Does your partner know what music you want at your funeral? Do they know what your final wishes are?
You do not want your loved ones to be worrying about making big decisions at a difficult time. You may have all of these plans in your head but if you do not share them, nobody will know.
This is a large part of why we have seen an increase in life planning platforms; they remove the element of the ‘unknown’ and help people have these, understandably, difficult conversations with loved ones.
Leave your legacy
End of life planning is all about what you want to leave behind. This does not just have to be about finances and legal formalities, of course. It can also be about the memories; about the legacy you build.