It’s the time of year for reflection and goodwill. It’s the time when many of us will be looking forward to spending time with our loved ones. How many of us though will be making plans to get our finances in order?
Perhaps it will be a News Year Resolution to finally get that Will sorted. Or, maybe your thoughts will turn to finally getting someone to look at those pensions? Whatever you do, while enjoying time with your friends and family, it’s important to think ahead. Above anything else, you will want to make sure those closest to you are taken care of as best as possible. You won’t always be around to ensure it.
So, we’ve written up a few pointers to mull over during the quiet moments of reflection you have over this Christmas.
1. If you have dependents, sorting a Will and/or Power of Attorney is critical
Thinking about a world without you in it is pretty depressing at any time of the year, let alone Christmas. Yet it’s the time when the ramifications of not having a Will or Power of Attorney may most ring home. After all, it’s a time of giving and reflecting upon all of the joy our loved ones bring. Perhaps we have already lost some of those who are dear to us. Perhaps the reality of just how precious life is, is very much on our minds. What better time to start thinking about making sure those ‘you’ leave behind are protected should the unthinkable happen to you?
2. The greatest gift is peace…
Amidst the Christmas lights and tinsel, it can be easy to get carried away with the presents and abundance of food. However, almost universally acclaimed, ‘peace’ remains one of the greatest gifts of all time. So, if you haven’t got estate planning in place, it’s a good time to start thinking about the ‘peace of mind’ it can offer both you and your family.
There are a number of ways that Inheritance Tax can be mitigated if thought about early enough. So, thinking about estate planning could well be the gift that keeps giving this Christmas time!
3. Living the life this Christmas… and next?
Most of us will be looking forward to lots of presents, festive decorations and a banquet of a Christmas dinner this year. Yet what would happen if something happened that meant you could no longer provide for your family the way you do? This isn’t just a concern of Christmas either. An accident, ill-health, or your ability to work, can alter at the drop of a hat. How will your loved ones manage without your financial contribution?
While your loved ones are around you, take some time to think about their future. The good and the possible bad. Then make sure you take measures to mitigate the bad as far as possible. There are many insurances out there to help plan ahead for unfavourable circumstances so that you can protect your family against the financial hardship. While such policies won’t protect against the emotional impact, it is certainly reassuring to know that their financial quality of life need not be impaired should the worst happen.
Getting some financial planning in early can be invaluable in stabilising your loved one’s financial future. So, while looking forward this Christmas, take the time to also look ahead. Seizing the opportunity while the family is together can be an excellent time to sort things out. Then you can get back to enjoying life and the festivities the season brings!