None-the-less that is basically the focus of this article: things that you should really have a think about as far in advance as possible, lest you leave things too late to arrange and subject your children and relatives to unnecessary problems.
As Woody Allen once said: “I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
None of us really want to face up to the fact we will one kick the proverbial bucket, but unless we do, we can leave a bit of a mess behind.
Read on for five things you need to consider in advance of passing away.
Power of Attorney
Alzheimer’s Research UK warned this week that one third of British people born today will go on to suffer from dementia.
This is just one of the many reasons why it may be sensible to consider giving power of attorney to someone you trust.
If the worst happens, or you temporarily have to stay in hospital for an extended period, a person with power of attorney can look after your best interests when you are unable to do so yourself.
You can find out more about power of attorney on the Gov.uk website here.
There has been a fairly big shake-up of the pension regulations in the UK, so even if you thought you have everything organised, you might still want to have another look into things and potentially get some advice from a pension adviser.
With personal pensions in the UK, it is now possible to if you wish cash in your pension in a lump sum.
Though you should bear in mind that if you do cash in your pension as a lump sum, you are potentially liable for the tax on as a form of income, and you may even be pushed up a tax bracket.
There are four different options for what you can do with your personal pension when you reach the legal retirement age. We are not going to list them all here because it is an article in itself, but you should certainly do some research and consider speaking to an expert to find out which option is best for you.
How Will Your Funeral Costs Be Paid?
This is one thing that unfortunately leaves many families in deep problems if not properly planned for in advance.
Funerals can be expensive, and if you pass away without providing for your funeral properly, or leaving enough money in your estate available to for family to pay for it, they will have to foot the bill – which currently averages at £3,600 in the UK.
The cost of buying memorial headstones alone can be over £2,000 according to this website.
So how exactly can you make sure you funeral costs will be looked after? This leads us onto our next point…
Providing for Dependents
When you pass away you will want to think about how you dependants will be looked after. Will your family be able to afford your funeral and their general costs of living once you have passed away?
There are many things to consider – but here are two of the most important ways you can plan ahead and look after your dependents once you have passed away:
With a will, you can plan on how you want your estate to be distributed to your dependents.
If unfortunately you pass away without leaving a will, there are rules that will applied as to how your estate is handled, which may not be in keeping with what you would have liked.
For example unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership will not be able to inherit from each other unless a will has been drawn up.
The executor of the will is the person whose duty it is allocate the funeral expenses from the estate of the person who has passed away.
You can find out more about drawing up a will on the CAB website.
- Life Insurance
Life insurance is another way to make sure that your dependants and funeral costs are looked after when you pass away.
There are two main types of life insurance: term life, and whole-of-life policies.
Term life policies run for a specific and limited amount of time, eg 5 to 25 years. The policy will only pay out if you pass away during the specified term.
Whole-of-life policies will pay out at any point, as long as you kept up with your life insurance payments.
We hope you found our guide useful! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below and we will do our best to answer.
Main image by James Stimpson @ Flickr.