10 December 2018
It’s something we don’t like to think about but it’s crucial that everyone gets their financial and personal affairs in order just in case the worst should happen. This provides you with the peace of mind that your family/friends will be in the best possible position should you be unable to function normally or you are no longer around. We have created a ‘financial bucket list’ which is a compilation of common sense tips and things to think about to ensure you’re as organised as you possibly can be!
We would like to offer advice from comparethemarket.com.au’s spokesperson and finance expert, Abigail Koch.
- Appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney: An Enduring Power of Attorney is just as important as making a Will. Many people prepare a Will but do not give the same time and consideration to appointing an attorney until it is too late. An Enduring Power of Attorney is not only able to make financial decisions on your behalf (if you’re not able to do so due to legal incapacity, disability or injury) but they can also make health decisions relating to your care and welfare.
- Organise your Will: Having a clear, legally valid and up-to-date Will is the best way to help ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes. Additionally, a Will names the guardian/s of your children and, if necessary, establishes a trust fund for your kids’ future. It is the most reliable way to ensure that your estate is divided as you want it and is a guarantee that your loved ones are taken care of and protected. Make copies of your will and store these in a secure place too.
- Gather all important documents and contact information: Birth and marriage certificates, insurance details, contact details for your preferred mechanic or gardener – these are just some of the things you can gather together and put in a safe place to make it easier for your loved ones in the future. All of the necessary information is now at their fingertips.
- Keep all your passwords/PIN numbers somewhere safe: These could be left with a family member or saved somewhere on a secure device. It’s important your loved ones have access to these should they need to log into computers, access bank accounts and so on.
- List out all of your memberships: Your family may need to cancel your memberships to a number of organisations you are signed up to, to avoid paying additional costs. This could include gym memberships, clubs, movies etc.
- Talk to your loved ones: Getting everything down on paper is a great start however, talking to your loved ones about your wishes if you were to you pass away is invaluable. The more they understand about what you want, the fewer issues they will have down the track.
- Take out life insurance: At a terrible moment in time, life insurance can help you take care of the financial uncertainties your family will likely go through after you’re gone. These funds can be used to help your family pay off debts (e.g. home loans), send your kids to school, or act as a nest egg for your partner’s retirement. Picking the right life insurance policy can be difficult but comparethemarket.com.au compares eight of Australia’s biggest life insurance products side-by-side to help you make this big decision.
- Discuss funeral arrangements: If you have specific measures of what you would like to happen at your funeral or memorial service after you die, it’s a good idea to get it in writing and let your family know your wishes. Doing so gets rid of the headache of planning for your family and ensures you get what you want.
Abigail Koch, spokesperson for comparethemarket.com.au says, “Your family will feel lost without you so it’s a good idea to make the process as easy as possible. Creating a handy checklist that outlines how to do certain things around the household would also be a great help. This could include simple activities that are carried out day-to-day such as how to use the oven or washer or how often to water the garden. You can even go as far as to outline how to pay for certain bills and a contact list of those to reach out to if your family need additional help. Communicate with your loved ones and make sure you have covered everything off, even the little things.”