7 Ways to be less of an administrative burden if seriously ill

 In Financial Planning, Inheritance & Estate Planning, Later Life Planning & Long Term Care

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In a world where people are generally living longer (if not always healthier) lives, it’s important that we ensure we’re looking after our arrangements and leaving things as clearly defined and straight forward as possible for our families.

The deteriorating illness, terminal illness or death of a loved one leaves people emotionally vulnerable and the less they have to deal with, other than spending time with the people they love, the better.

We all have that filing cabinet / that bag of papers / that ‘death box’ as my Mother-in-Law calls it (!) which we’ve sort of told our nearest and dearest about if ever it’s needed.

But what should we absolutely aim to have and how does it help?

The first thing to say is, do not assume that this information will only be needed on your death.  Diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s are unfortunately ever present and you may need assistance with your finances for many years for whatever reason.

Here are our top 7 things we think you should aim to always have available:

  1. Summary of your information – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a short and sweet list of what assets you have and where they’re held (maybe there’s a particular piece of jewellery you want to give to someone specific). Don’t forget passwords to social media, etc.  Facebook even allows you to nominate someone to have access to your account on your death.
  2. Lasting Power of Attorney – essentially a written authorisation to allow others to act on your behalf. This can cover just your health and welfare or can also cover property and financial affairs. You can nominate up to four people to act as your attorney and we would always suggest, where possible, you include at least one person from the generation beneath you.  This can be very emotive, but if you can get these set up and ‘ready to go’ then should the day come that they’re needed it will save a lot of stress and time delays.  More important, if you’re appointing attorneys, make sure they know your wishes; they are not mind readers!
  3. Will – the one most people know about, but don’t always sort. Lots of things to consider regarding any minors and guardians, potential for sideways disinheritance, who will be your executors? Who will be your Trustees, if needed?  Do you want to include specific items for specific people?  We would always recommend speaking with a solicitor to ensure that your Will accurately reflects your wishes and covers all eventualities to avoid unnecessary stress for those you are leaving behind.
  4. DNR (Do not resuscitate) – do your nearest and dearest know your wishes? It’s unfair to leave people guessing so far better to make any specific wishes known. We help you consider this and many more things as part of our Long Term Care & Later Life Planning service.
  5. Donor Information – whilst everyone is now automatically on the register, family are still consulted, so again, please make sure people know. It would be horrid to think of someone guessing what you would want.
  6. Funeral wishes and funding – do you even want a funeral? Maybe leave some instructions alongside your Will, or simply let people know what you would want and how it is to be paid for. Leaving someone a clear set of instructions to follow is far easier for them than having to guess what you would have wanted. This means you can also (if you want to) choose your own departure music, something which is exceptionally personal for a lot of families.
  7. Your advisers details – sounds obvious, but simply passing our business card to the right people means we can assist and support in all of the other matters on this list. We often work with multiple generations of the same family for exactly this reason, but sometimes these things can happen too swiftly for this to happen. We can also help at all stages of life with our Estate & Inheritance tax planning service.

A lot of these points just boil down to making your wishes known.  Have those conversations now, whilst you can. Life changes quickly and not always for the better.

Contact us today if we can help you arrange things to make life easier for all.

Contact us today for an initial, no-obligation meeting around your financial planning needs.

During our discussions with our clients, we take the time to understand their feelings about responsible investing and its importance to them. This can range from being generally aware through to being completely dedicated.

We approach all conversations ethically and take great pride in working within the remit that feels most comfortable to a client when it comes to investing.

If you would like to know more about how we can incorporate your feelings in to your investments, then please get in touch.

Jessica McGowan
Jessica began her career in Financial Services in 2001 and has gained a wide range of experience working with clients from all walks of life, guiding them through the many complex aspects of financial planning to ensure that they fully understand their objectives, options and desired outcomes. Jessica prides herself on delivering an excellent service for her clients ensuring that they are well looked after through every stage of the financial planning process, firmly believing in the empathetic and emotional side of the process as much as the facts and financials. What the Riverfall team say: “Jess has to be the most organised person on the planet! Her Outlook calendar is a thing of beauty!