Pretend you are all standing up….
- Take a seat if you haven’t thought about what would happen to your family if you couldn’t continue to work.
- Now sit down if you haven’t thought about what financial impact your death would have on your family.
- Remain standing if you have done something about it?!
Is there anyone left standing…I’m guessing not many. Well congratulations you’re human. Awkward conversations particularly about money and death aren’t easy. If they were you’d all be standing up. However ignoring these awkward conversations can create a whole world of pain, both financially and emotionally for the you love the most.
The first and most daunting step is starting the conversation. It doesn’t have to be an intimidating conversation, it really comes from a place of love. Ensuring your family are in the best possible position should something untoward happen is virtuous.
So let’s chat about a couple of things to consider when it comes to protecting your family’s immediate and long term financial well-being;
- Do you have life insurance?
- Do you have adequate life insurance?
Ask yourself, if you weren’t here would you want the mortgage sleared? Have a regular income provided to your family? Fund children’s care / education?
- Don’t underestimate ‘Total & Permanent Disablement’ insurance – This is designed with similar objectives to life insurance, but you are still here and need care, for example medical expenses and perhaps funding permanent lifestyle changes
- Income protection replaces your income if you are unable to work due to sickness / injury.
It can cover up to 80% of your annual salary. Depending on your circumstances such as available sick / annual leave you can select different waiting periods & period the benefit is paid for.
- Trauma cover also known as Critical Illness or Living cover is designed to protect you from the impact of illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks & strokes.
The purpose of this is to provide a lump sum to cover immediate costs such as medical, travel or accommodation expenses when a critical illness or injury occurs.
- Are your Estate Planning documents up to date? I’m talking about Wills, Powers of Attorney, Guardianships
Nobody wants to spend too much time thinking about dying! However, ignoring this awkward conversation could cause much anxiety for your loved ones who are left to deal with this situation. Not having this conversation ahead of time often creates unintended consequences and can result in bitter feelings, legal problems & a miserable mess for your family to sort out.
Some items to consider are:
- When did your last review your estate planning documents?
- What does your family relationship structure look like?
- Do you have any business partnerships?
- Who will you trust to be the key decision makers before & after your death?
This might have raised more questions than answers, like can we afford it? Will it cost too much? With my health issues will I qualify for cover?
We would argue can you afford not to have these in place. We can all fall into the trap of ‘it won’t happen to me’. This is a dangerous choice, without proper financial protection & estate planning your family’s financial plans can be completely derailed.
Natalie Waterhouse, Director