Best ways to get your financial affairs in order



 

Regardless of your situation or circumstances, it's always a good idea to get your financial affairs in order sooner rather than later. With the right planning and preparation, you can make things easier for your family and ensure your wishes are followed.

 

But with so many things to consider and contemplate, what are the best ways to get your financial affairs in order? Here's a step-by-step guide.

 

Make a will

 

If you haven't already done so, the first thing you'll need to do is make a will. This guarantees that your money, belongings, and assets go to the people or charities you want.

 

You'll also need to decide upon an executor - the person responsible for organizing and sorting out your estate after you die. You can choose more than one person to be your executor, but be aware that solicitors and accountants will charge for their services.

 

If you already have a will, double-check that it’s up-to-date with the correct information. Now is the time to make changes.

 

Organise necessary paperwork

 

Even if you know where all your important paperwork is located, chances are your executor doesn't. So, let them know where the following documents can be found:

 

  • Property deeds

  • Bank statements

  • Credit card statements

  • Insurance policies

  • Details of savings and investments

  • Mortgage information

  • Outstanding bills

  • Birth and marriage certificates

  • Divorce papers

  • Tax certificates

 

Any additional information about your life can also be of assistance to your executor. For example, a list of regular payments that need to be cancelled or when your car or boiler requires servicing. This will make the whole process much easier and less stressful.

 

Last but not least, let your executor know where your will is, otherwise it could be ignored.

 

Arrange your funeral

 

While this can feel like a strange and unnerving process, it will lift the burden on your family or friends and give you the right kind of send off.

 

Traditional funerals can be expensive, often costing thousands of pounds, which causes many people to worry they won't leave enough money behind. A pre-paid funeral plan is one option, but there are other less expensive alternatives worth considering too.

 

For example, a no funeral cremation is between £1,195 and £1,850, which is less than half an average funeral. What's more, they keep things simple for your family, giving them more time to arrange an appropriate memorial service.  

 

Get help if you need it

 

If you become too ill to manage your money, make sure you get help from someone who could take responsibility for it instead. After all, gaining quick access to your money could be required for special treatment or family visits.

 

For something more formal than a casual arrangement with your family or friends, think about giving someone power of attorney. This will allow them to set up accounts on your behalf and ensure bills or care fees are paid for.

 

Don't forget that you can only make a power of attorney while you have the mental capacity to do so.