Wednesday 24 May 2017

Planning for the future: the tasks that most of us don't like to think about

It might be something of a morbid topic - but it's one that we will all come across at some point in later life. While enjoying the time with our children might be the priority now, we shouldn't forget the occasions where things might start to slow down and provisions have to be made.

It's most definitely the stage of life that most of us don't like to think about. Nevertheless, those of us who do take the time to think about some of the more practical areas of life, do tend to make things a lot easier for family members down the line.

Sure, some of you may have taken out life insurance already - and that's a great way to start, particularly if you are on the property ladder. There are steps you can take to make things even easier later down the line though, as we take a look at three areas that might be considered for the future.

Planning a funeral
Let's start with the most morbid topic of the lot. Like it or not, we'll all have a funeral - although naturally we all hope the inevitable is delayed for as long as can be.

It might be quite hard to think about planning something that you won't strictly be part of, but when you consider that the average cost of a funeral can surpass thousands of pounds, it stands to reason that some thought should be invested into the process.

The above is the reason that a pre-paid funeral plan is becoming a very popular solution for people. While the installment factor is obviously really important here and will at least allow you to spread the cost of the payment, it's also worth mentioning that in a lot of cases you'll be paying for the funeral at today's prices. In other words, inflation doesn't come into the equation and if you happen to be reasonably young, this can save your family thousands of pounds in the long-term.

Over the past decade the costs have risen over 100% - so this in itself suggests that pre-planning for this inevitability is a sure-fire way to keep money in the family.

Lasting powers of attorney
It's not just about "when you are gone" though, there can also be steps to take as you get older. As many of us may have seen with family members, old age can be cruel and can hinder the decision-making process. This is where a lasting power of attorney comes into play; with this document allowing you to pass on responsibility for financial affairs to someone close.

A lot of people feel that it's something that can make them feel a lot easier about the aging process, particularly if they can discuss plans with said person in good time.

Writing a will
The last area we are going to focus on is one that is probably a little less morbid, even though it's all tied into the same topic. Some people even like to write a will; it's something that brings clarity and at least confirms that the appropriate people will be looked after.

A staggering statistic is that less than half of the people in the country have a will. It means that tens of millions of pounds go straight to the Treasury every year - as there is nobody listed to inherit it.

Do you have a will?

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