Discussing subjects surrounding the end of life is still considered a taboo subject in many families but it does not need to be.
We can help guide you through every step from planning what will happen to your estate, recording your wishes and, should you wish to, a fully paid funeral plan.
Simply put, estate planning helps to safeguard your care and your assets both during life and after death.
Most people put off estate planning but it is essential to organise, because without some formal plans, your family can be left with significant difficulties. This could be as simple as not knowing what music you would have liked at your funeral to much more complex problems such as family disputes over your assets.
There are many products to help you settle your affairs and although they may look daunting to begin with, just a simple conversation with our experienced advisors can help you to think about the right things.
Although it is not essential it is advisable to try to include your family in the estate planning process so they know what you want and where certain paperwork can be found.
As mentioned in the prior section, there are various products available to help put your affairs in order.
The most important document is a will. Without a will your family could be left in difficulties to prove guardianship of children, prove the right to your estate and how the assets should be divided.
Having an out of date will is potentially worse for your family than not having a will at all. Following any major life event, your will should be updated to reflect the change. It is especially advisable to update your will after the following events:
Birth of children
Starting a business
Diagnosis of a terminal illness
Moving into a care setting.
Alarmingly over 60% of UK adults do not have a will in place. As basic wills can cover most wishes and are fairly straightforward in their nature, it is inconceivable why so many of us have not arranged one.
There are different types of will and our advisors can help you to discover which is most suitable for you.
Trusts are used to help protect your assets after death. Although this may sound a fairly abrupt statement, a trust used in the right way can protect not only your assets but those who you want to benefit from them.
Imagine your estate is the treasury in a castle. Unprotected, anyone can walk in and help themselves. To keep it safe and shared within family you will need lockable doors (your will). To make sure no-one has access to it, a trust will build the strong walls and even a moat.
The most common uses of a trust are:
Planning your funeral in advance has many benefits both to you and your family as it can remove the burden of decision making during an already difficult time and also take away the financial burden.
We have two ways to help you plan ahead for a funeral, whether it is for you or a someone else.
Recording your wishes
This is simply discussing your wishes with us or using one of our ‘record of wishes’ forms. There are no costs or fees attached as the document is meant to give your family a guide at the time it is needed.
When you complete a record of wishes we will securely keep a digital copy for you and also send you a printed version along with a no-obligation, estimate of the costs today and how much it would cost to create a permanent funeral plan. The estimates are provided purely to allow you to consider how the funeral will be financed at the time. With your permission we can provided further estimates each year for you to track the rises of costs and ensure your estate planning is sufficient.
A pre-paid funeral plan
A funeral pre-payment plan is designed to simply turn your wishes into a financially secured product to safeguard both future price rises and the financial burden for your family later on.
The money paid for a funeral plan enters into our funeral plan provider’s, ring-fenced, trust as set by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means it can only be accessed by you, should you wish to cancel or on proof of passing i.e. a death certificate.
There are many different funeral plan providers available and we have carefully selected ours to allow unlimited flexibility in bespoke options.
Many online sellers of funeral plans take a commission from the sale, as they are not the funeral services provider benefitting from the funeral plan. These commissions can be over £1000, this means that should you buy from such a company, your funeral plan is immediately £1000 short. It is much safer to discuss a funeral plan directly with the funeral director you wish to look after your funeral as they know the intricate fees to ensure as much money as possible enters the trust.
All of our pre-funeral planning has a completely free of charge advisory service, regardless of whether we are your chosen funeral director.