3 Reasons A Will Is The Most Important Financial Document You Can Create

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You’ll come across many financial documents as you make your way through life. However, few are as critical as a will. People don’t like thinking about wills because they’re associated with death. True, your will won’t be important until you pass away, but this is part of the problem. We don’t see this as a valuable financial document until it is too late. It sounds harsh, but nobody really knows when they’ll pass away. Anything can happen in life, so you have to be thankful for every single day. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t take life for granted ever again! 

 

As such, you need to create a will – even if you’re young and healthy. Put it this way, if you care about your finances, this is the best decision you’ll ever make. If you’re still not convinced, here are three reasons a will is the best financial document you can ever create:

Protect your finances

The whole point of a will is to keep your finances under wraps. In essence, you will protect your assets when you pass away. Without a will, the courts hold legal power over your estate. Yes, we’re venturing into a confusing territory, but I’ll try to make it as simple as possible. Effectively, your will states to the court everything that you own and where you want it to go. It’s a legally binding document that must be followed. Without one, there’s no legal way of saying where your money and assets should go. Instead, the court will distribute everything as they see fit – which can be very stressful for your family!

Provide clarity when you’re gone

A will also provides clarity for everyone when you’ve passed away. It details all of your assets and where they will go. For example, you may have a house that you want to pass to your children. This will be outlined in the will, along with all your other assets. It prevents instances where family members argue amongst one another – or with the courts. It can also prevent the need for a probate lawyer to come and sort everything out. This document gives clear instructions that everyone has to respect and follow. Therefore, it can stop someone from claiming something that’s not there’s to claim.

Helps you feel more at ease

Even if you are healthy and in the prime of your life, putting a will together makes you feel at ease. It goes back to the first point on protecting your finances. You can carry on with your life, safe in the knowledge that all of your assets are secure. You don’t have to worry about the financial impact your passing could have on your family. In many ways, it lifts a burden you didn’t realize you were carrying. 

 

The bottom line is that everyone that cares about their finances should create a will. Don’t wait until you’re old or sick; do it while you’re healthy. You can amend a will as many times as you like, which means you can tweak it throughout your life. If you want to ensure your assets get put to good use, you need a proper will.

Protecting Your Money Even When You Are Gone

If you’ve been planning for the future, like a lot of us, then a lot of your thinking is likely to be fixated on the topic of what’s going to happen to your money assets when you’re gone. You’re going to want to make sure that your wants as to how it is used and where it goes are met. Here, we’re going to look at a few steps you can take to protect your money into the future, even when you’re gone.

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Make sure you state your wishes clearly and firmly

One of the most important steps of thinking about and planning for your future is to write your will. Your will ensures that both your loved ones and those with the legal power to execute your will and pass out your assets and wealth are as fully informed about your wishes as possible. If you have significant assets to pass on, it’s best to write a will with the help of an attorney. For instance, you can stop people from claiming more inheritance than they should by ensuring that your will provides for everyone to a reasonable degree. If you skip out people on your will, they can end up launching legal action that can muddy the waters.

 

Put it in the hands of someone you can trust

When you have a will or an estate plan, you aren’t going to be there to make sure that everything is divvied out as you want it. However, you can make sure that someone you can trust is put in charge of managing your affairs for you. Take your time to research and learn what you need to know about estate representatives. Effectively, these are the executors of your will that will gather together all of your assets and make sure that they’re kept safe until they have been completely divided amongst your beneficiaries. People often choose a close family member or friend to take care of this for them, but you may also want to hire a neutral and qualified third party.

 

Know what not to include in your will

There are a few issues that can result in your will becoming easy to contest to the point that it can be effectively thrown out. One of the factors that can lead to this risk is a misunderstanding of your assets, what goes into a will, and what doesn’t. Take the time to learn about what you shouldn’t include in your will and make sure you have other provisions for these if you need it. For instance, a lot of people put together their last wishes for funeral and memorial arrangements into wills, but this isn’t the right place for them. The same goes for any life insurance money or jointly held assets.

 

Of course, once we’re gone, we’re gone, and we can’t really do too much to affect things then. However, the steps you take now can at least give you the best possible chance of ensuring that your wants are met as closely as possible.

Planning On Moving Home? Take Care of These Issues First

If you have been thinking about making a move and relocating with a family, you will have a lot of things to consider before you can settle down and enjoy your new home. While most people spend months to find the right property and location, they often forget about the important steps they have to take to make the change as smooth as possible. Read about them more below.

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Your Finances

Before you apply for a mortgage or explore the opportunity of getting a new deal on the home, it is important that you have your finances in order. If you have credit cards and loans all over the place, you are not likely to get the deal you want. You might want to consolidate your finances well before you apply for a mortgage. You can learn more about the different options that are designed to help you improve your credit rating.

School and Work Commute

In case you have kids, you will need to make sure that they are on board with the move, or you will have to face daily tantrums. Check how long it will take you to get to work and give the kids a ride. If you happen to move them to a new school, ensure that you have a meeting set up with the principal, so they are less anxious about a new start.

Your Decoration and Moving Budget

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No matter how much you fell in love with the property, there will be things to do. You will either need to improve the comfort of the house or decorate it to your taste. If you don’t create a budget for moving and refurbishment, you are likely to end up with a home that is less than perfect until you can save up enough to tackle the issues.

Internet and Utilities

Once you have your mortgage deal approved and are planning on getting a moving date, you will have to get ready for the big move. You have to ensure that the previous owners have paid all the bills, and their name is off the bills. Next, you can start comparing different electricity, gas, and internet, cable TV deals, so by the time you are moving in, everything is in place. There are some companies that will help you with this transition and make your relocation smoother.

Your Will and Legal Matters

Moving house can trigger a legal review, too. If you have a will, you will need to get it changed, as well as your mortgage protection and life insurance. You don’t want your loved ones to end up in a legal battle should anything happen to you. Ensure that the mortgage gets paid off and they are left with a comfortable income. You will also have to change the address on all your financial accounts to avoid fraud.

 

Moving house takes more than packing boxes and taking all your things to a new home. There are several things you can do to make your new life easier.

Guide to Broaching Difficult Subjects with Your Elderly Parent

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Raising difficult subjects with your elderly parent is never easy. You don’t want to upset them or make them feel incapable. However, if you have started to notice that your parent is not coping as well as they once used to, either mentally or physically, it is important to talk to them about it so that you can come up with a solution. Of course, you are worried that you will damage their self-esteem or wound their pride, but ensuring they are healthy is the most important thing. Plus, there are ways you can approach the subject in a gentler manner. With that in mind, read on to discover how to raise difficult issues with your elderly parent, as well as some of the topics you should be raising.  

What sort of issues should you discuss with your parent?

Before we reveal how to broach difficult topics with your parent, let’s first take a look at the different issues you should discuss with them.

  • Managing their affairs – You may want to consider a power of attorney if your parent has been ill or is finding it difficult to manage their own affairs. A lot of people assume that this is a step that is only taken when someone is not well enough to know their own mind. However, it can often be beneficial to discuss this before you reach that stage. There is two power of attorney options – finance and health. The former means managing financial affairs on their behalf, and health means making medical decisions on their behalf. If you have siblings, you should consider holding a joint power of attorney with them, as this can easily be a source of sibling conflict.
  • Your parent’s living arrangements – The time may have come to assess your parent’s living arrangements. Should they live with you? There is a lot to consider, including whether it is the right environment for them, if they want to live with you, if your home can be adapted if needed, if you have the time to assist them, and how it will impact your family life with your children and your relationship with your partner. You need to be honest with yourself – don’t make a decision out of guilt.
  • Whether they can live alone – If your parent cannot cope at home, it may be time to discuss either getting help at home or moving to an assisted living facility with experienced professionals that will give them the care they need to manage their health. This is important if your parent needs rehabilitative assistance, as well as if they are struggling to manage in their home, for example, if they find it difficult to move around, get showered, and get dressed, if they feel lonely and isolated, and if they are nervous about living alone.

How to raise difficult issues with your elderly parent

The issues mentioned above can be difficult to raise with your parent. You don’t want to risk offending them or making it feel like you are trying to take their independence away from them. However, it is important to broach these subjects for the sake of their health. So, how do you go about it? Here are some top tips to help you out:

  • Make sure the situation is a relaxing one – When you do bring up a difficult subject with your parent, you need to ensure that the situation is as relaxing as possible. It needs to be private enough for you to have a sensible conversation, so make sure your kids aren’t running in and out. Nonetheless, you don’t want your parents to feel pressured or worried; so don’t build it up into a big, serious event.
  • Be prepared to listen – You may think that you have it all planned in your head already, but it is important to listen to your parent and accept their point of view. It is their life after all.
  • Manage the process gradually – People do not like change, especially when they get older. This is why you need to manage this as a gradual process. Take things step-by-step.
  • Revisit conversations – As you need to handle things gradually, you need to be prepared to revisit conversations a number of times. Your parent must have time to think on their own about the suggestions you have made. Don’t expect an instant answer. People are less likely to respond positively when they feel like they are under pressure.
  • Think about your parent’s view before you have the conversation – Before you sit down to have a conversation with your parent, think about their likely viewpoint and possible objections. By planning this in advance, you will be able to answer them knowledgeable and calmly. You may even be shocked to learn that they have already thought about the issues you are raising, and they may have solutions that you had not thought about previously, so be prepared to listen to them.
  • Discuss the issues with your siblings and any other key family members – It is important to discuss the issues with your siblings and anyone else that is close to your parent. Don’t turn this into a huge family discussion. Your parent won’t want to feel like everyone has been discussing them behind their back. Only keep immediate family members involved. You need to ensure that you and your siblings are all on the same page before you discuss things with your parent. The last thing you want is a family dispute on top of everything else.

All in all, there is no denying that broaching subjects such as living arrangements and power of attorney can be extremely difficult. However, if you have reached the stage whereby your parent is struggling to cope, it is imperative to have such difficult chats with them. Instead of diving straight in, make sure you use the advice above. Plan for the talk carefully, make sure you are in agreement with your siblings and, most importantly, listen to what your parent has to say.