Planning for loss
No one wants to face the prospect of their own death. Let’s face it: It’s confronting. But there comes a time when we need to face it – it’s inevitable that none of us is going to live forever. What’s more, none of us know exactly when our time will be up.
That’s why it’s important to put the paper work in place. Because the mess that’s left behind if you don’t, is more devastating for your loved ones – at a time when they’re already confused and grieving.
Take a couple of minutes to watch Alan’s story. He lost his fiancé Susan in a car accident. She was on her way to meet him for a holiday together and fell asleep at the wheel.
In a single afternoon, he lost his life partner and his dreams for the future. And he found out in the worst way possible – on the evening TV news. It’s not difficult to understand that it took him quite some time to rebuild his life.
Having life insurance and a will is a form of protection, from the many things in life that our out of our control. But it’s not enough just to sign up for insurance and write a will – these should be ‘living documents’ – meaning they also need to be reviewed regularly. When your life changes, your insurance policy may need to change, too, and it’s a good idea to also check your will. Both should reflect your current life circumstances at all times.
If you re-marry for example, you need to consider where your insurance money will go in the event of your death – especially if you have children to different spouses. This ensures your family or any other dependants can carry on their lives without you. And while none of us want to think that life will go on without us, inevitably it does. And the responsible thing to do is make sure that is easy for those left behind.
Making a will
A will is your opportunity to make clear instructions about your financial intentions, assets, and any debts or expenses that need to be paid, as well moral obligations you want taken care of. Because a will is considered evidence of your intentions, the process of getting probate granted and distributing the estate is usually straightforward and there is less risk of claims being made against the estate. No one wants their legacy to be a messy legal battle with family, friends and relatives all fighting for what they think should be their entitlement. This is unfair on everyone.
Around 45% of Australians don’t have a will. Don’t be one of them.
We’re all human – our lives are rich and complex and beautiful – and that’s why it is worth protecting those we love and have made commitments too, especially after we’re gone.
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