Your guide to estate planning in later life

No-one enjoys sorting out affairs before they die, but it’s important to leave things in good order for your loved ones. Even for those who don’t think they have many expensive possessions or much money to hand down, there are plenty of things that have to be sorted before your passing.

Estate planning includes sorting through your possessions and assets and deciding who you would like to take them when you die. That means writing a will and organising all your contacts so your family can get in touch with legal representatives and brokers easily.

If you’re starting to organise your assets in the event of your death, make sure you consider all the following points.

Assess your assets

Investigate the value of your valuable assets. This could include property, artwork and collectables. In this case, employ a broker or surveyor to give you an estimated value of your possessions. It’s a good idea to get an idea of all the wealth and personal belongings you will need to account for.

estate planning and will creation

Create a will

A will is a legal document setting out how you want to distribute your assets after your death. It’s particularly important as without a will, the state will look for a close relative and if they can’t find anyone suitable, it’s likely that your assets will go to the government.

This is probably one of the most important parts of your preparation. You might also want to include your choice of legal guardian if you are leaving behind young children and instructions for any pets that will outlive you.

Employ a Wills and Probate solicitor to oversee the process and protect your assets should anything go wrong after your death. They will also help you file a will and probate solicitor negligence claim if needs be.

Create a living will

If you are concerned that you might lose your cognitive abilities to a terminal illness or accident whilst you’re still alive, it’s a good idea to create a living will. In this case, your wishes still hold legal power even when you are unable to express yourself fully.

Save money for the funeral

Think ahead and take the financial burden off your family by putting some money aside for your funeral. Create a separate account for your funeral savings, tell your family or any legal representatives about the account and provide them with instructions of how to access it.

Alternatively, you can pay for your funeral in advance. You can either pay in full for a specific service or invest your money in a funeral bond which will release your money upon your death.