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Financial Planning For Death Is Important

“Preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.” – Candy Chang

Financial planning for death: No one wants to talk about terminal illness, death or the reality that it will happen to all of us. It is a morbid conversation, but somebody has to do it! We all come into this world with nothing and leave this world with nothing, however, most of us tend to accumulate some things along the way.

While we may not care about these things at the time of death, those we love and leave behind will be left with it. If we do not plan and prepare our loved ones for our departure, we will leave them with a mess of financial decisions that will be difficult to manage.

Put simply, if you have a surviving spouse or loved ones who depend on you for their well-being (financial or otherwise), financial planning for death is a must. We owe it to them to do something useful with the things we accumulate especially if they are of value.

While personal goods such as jewellery, watches or heirlooms are easy to distribute, by way of a written instruction or a will, financial matters are more complex.

Affairs to consider are taxes, cashflow, power of attorney and delays while estates are being wound up, insurances and watertight protection against litigation. If you have money it is a guarantee someone will be after it.

Financial planning for death is a way to ensure that the wealth you have accumulated in your life is preserved for those whom you want to benefit when you are no longer there. Financial planning for death is an important legal document to the writing of your will. The will says “what”, the financial plan says “how”.

Money is not at the forefront of conversations when someone is dying. However, this is an important conversation to have. These are some top tips and suggestions when it comes to financial planning.

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Financial Planning For Death

(so your loved ones don’t have to)

With careful consideration of a few critical areas of your life, you can rest easy knowing your loved ones will be secure and provided for when you are no longer around.

 

Speak to a Financial Planner

When you are dying, there is a lot happening. It is inevitable that medical and long term care will be top-of-mind. From doctors appointments and deteriorating health, it takes extra effort to speak with a financial adviser. However, financial planners can help. They can provide answers to many questions surrounding insurance companies, bank accounts, income tax, credit cards, death benefits, health care payments, safe deposit boxes and more.

Most people have good intentions when it comes to seeking financial advice. Speaking with a financial planner will help you make decisions about what you should do with your money and the best course of action you should take.

 

Speak to Someone You Can Trust

There are times in life where thinking about the future is exciting. Inversely, there are also times when talking about the future can be awkward or uncomfortable, like planning for your death.

There is much to be done in the preparation for death, but there is no rule that says that you need to do it alone! There is no shame in asking for help and advice in financial planning for death.

Additionally, our friends and family may have good leads to people you can trust with this important aspect in planning for the future.

 

Come Prepared

It’s no secret that a lot of us feel clueless and helpless when financial planning for death. Not having a secure plan could leave your loved ones dependant and strapped for income!

When you meet with a financial advisor, ensure you do some homework and come prepared.

Have an idea about what you have in your wealth portfolio. Specific questions you need answers to include:

• What are the tax implications of my death?
• Ask about life insurance and where this is best kept from a tax perspective- in or out of superfunds
• Ask about the best way to have cashflow for your loved ones after death. Wills can take a long time to be finalised.
• Ask about future investment strategies
• Ask for advice and suggestions

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Don’t Buy Anything- Yet

The financial advisor makes money by selling you a product, so don’t buy- yet. Take all the advice they give and cross-check it with your accountant, lawyer and family. Think about the objectives you want. Don’t look at this meeting as a one-way conversation. It’s an opportunity to determine whether they are a good fit for you. You should never invest or do anything you do not understand. Do not expect to make big decisions the first time you sit down with a financial planner. You have got some learning to do first!  

Trust Yourself

Planning your future and financial planning for death often requires turning to a financial adviser whom you can trust for guidance. However, not everyone is always honest and honourable. If it looks and feels wrong, it probably is! There are never “get rich quick “schemes, or fantastic investment opportunities. “Trust me” is not an instruction or a guarantee, it should ring an alarm bell and raise a red flag. Why does someone need to tell you to trust them? What are they hiding? Think about what you are doing and planning. Ask your spouse or children for their opinions. Remember, If anything is “too good to be true”, it generally is.  

Do it and Review It

We all owe it to not only to ourselves but to our loved ones to ensure that we have a valid financial plan in place. We have all heard horror stories of friends and family members who have died without a financial plan. By having a clear picture of your financial state, you can begin to identify areas of strength and weaknesses. This helps formulate substantive goals and plans for the future- after you are gone. Reevaluating and updating your plan are critical steps in the financial planning for death. If you need to make changes, invest differently or change some things in you will make work of it and do it. If you change your mind or are not happy with the way things are going, do it again, make the changes. Nothing is ever set in concrete. Death and dying is an extremely tumultuous time and we owe it to our loved ones to ensure that that there is a valid financial in place. This makes sure that you can have peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones are taken care of.
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The Reality Of Financial Planning For Death

Failing to plan ahead will leave your loved ones without financial support in the short run as well as cost them money in the long run. As many of your assets will be tied up and delayed, your family could be in financial trouble after your death. By taking the time now to financially plan for death, you ensure that your loved ones are covered while your assets are delayed as well as help them in their future.

If you have found this useful or want to share your experiences, share your thoughts and suggestions, stories and experiences with us. We would love to hear from you.

Financial Planning For Death

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More Information and Resources

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Financial Planning For Death

If you are on the journey towards the end of their life, it is recommended to have discussions about financial planning and help early. Talking about dying has never killed anyone!
It is better to have the peace of mind that your loved ones have the necessary means to continue with life after your death – as it will be a rollercoaster of emotions for a long time.

Don’t let death be a plane crash disaster- financial planning for death can land this plane, through any storm.

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