Death is an inevitable part of life, but it is also one that we like to avoid thinking about! However, having your financial affairs in order when you die will make things much easier for your loved ones and will also help to ensure that your wishes are carried out. We’re going to explore why it is important to have your financial affairs in order when you die, and what steps you can take to prepare.
Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional experience, and having to sort through their financial affairs can add unnecessary stress and burden to an already difficult time. By having your financial affairs in order, you can ease the burden on your loved ones and make the process of handling your estate as smooth and straightforward as possible.
Having your financial affairs in order can also help ensure that your final wishes are carried out. For example, having a will and a trust (if necessary) in place can help ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. If you do not have a will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the law of succession, which may not align with your wishes
The last thing you want is your death to start a family row! When someone dies, disputes among family members and beneficiaries can arise over the distribution of assets. By having your financial affairs in order, you can help minimise the risk of disputes and ensure that your assets are distributed in a fair and equitable manner.
Estate planning is an important element of financial planning. By planning for your death far in advance, you can take steps to minimise the Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) bill that the beneficiaries, of your estate will face. This can be achieved through gifting strategies when you are alive and, through awareness of the CAT thresholds that will apply. This is a complex area and expert financial, advice should always be sought.
Now that we’ve explored the importance of having your financial affairs in order, let’s look at some steps you can take to prepare.
This must be your starting point. We will guide through many of the financial challenges that you need to consider. If you need more specialist advice in certain legal or tax areas, we will point this out to you too.
A will is a legal document that outlines how and to who your assets will be distributed after your death. It is important to have a will in place to ensure that your final wishes are carried out. Make sure your family know where this important document is held – quite often this is with your solicitor.
Organising your financial documents can help ensure that your loved ones can easily access important information after your death. Some documents to consider organising include your will, insurance policies, pension statements, bank account statements, and tax records. This will make life much easier for them as they mourn your passing
Death is unavoidable, but making life as easy as possible for those left behind is not. How tidy will your affairs be when you die?
Article first produced on PPS Monthly July 2023 Newsletter.