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Putting Your Estate In Order: What You Need to Know.

June 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Money/Business, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comWhen we reach a certain age, we begin to realise that we aren’t immortal. Thinking about and even planning for, your passing on becomes less of an abstract and more of a sensible plan. Many people find a certain grace in the idea of having their affairs organised before their death, rather than leaving loved ones a difficult task. Dying without your affairs in order can cause incredibly painful situations for those left behind – and is that the legacy you’d really choose? But what do you need to have covered?

Do A Complete Inventory of Assets

Over a lifetime, many of us accumulate a lot of excess possessions. This can mean that our relatives are left to sort through everything or do a large house clearance. It may be better to pre-empt this and leave your home and your things in good order. Start with a serious clean out, getting rid of any junk by working with a clearance specialist such as Next, take a full inventory of what you have left, anything above a certain value, which can include electronics, artworks, jewellery, collectibles and vehicles.

Complete the list with another inventory listing all your non-physical assets – savings accounts, bank accounts, life insurance policies and all other types of policy – home care, house and contents insurance, disability and others.

List Out Your Debts Clearly

If you have any debt, take the time to list out clearly what you owe and where. Remaining mortgage payments or any on a car or other vehicle, home equity loans, credit cards or store cards. It’s a good idea to request a copy of your credit score, as this will list out any outstanding amounts and if you have forgotten anything it’s likely to be on there.

Nominate An Executor

You need someone who will lead on the administration of your estate and affairs after your death. Most usually this is a solicitor, but it could be a trusted relative. Forward them several copies of the above lists, signed and dated, and keep one for yourself in a safe deposit box. It’s very important that you select an executor who can think clearly and make rational decisions, which is why a lot of people prefer an impartial professional. Don’t immediately think of your spouse as the best choice – they may be too emotional or not in good health themselves at a time when difficult decisions will need to be made. You need to trust that your wishes are going to be carried out in exactly the way you specify.

Draft A Will

It’s never too early to draft out a will, especially if you have children that you’re anxious to take care of. A clearly written will can prevent a lot of arguments and pain for those you care about. This is something your solicitor can help with, or if you prefer, there are lots of will-writing templates and services available online for a very low cost.

With a bit of planning, you can leave your affairs in beautiful order and just concentrate on making happy memories.

Staff Writer; Doug Adams

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