Legacy planning isn’t just for older people. The first step to any legacy planning is making a Will and there is a case that all adults should have one but certainly once you have any assets or have children then a Will should be written. You might think your affairs are simple or you do not have enough assets to need a Will but there are various other reasons for doing so.
Legacy issues do tend to be brought into focus for people into and beyond their 50s.
Unfortunately, by this time many people will have friends who have either died or have had health concerns that help to wake us up to our own mortality. By this age you are also likely to be seeing your parents go through end of life planning or even have been responsible for dealing with their estates and may want to learn lessons from that to help your own children. There a resources available that can help you to ensure that every angle has been considered, such as this helpful guide from Royal London.
Digital and social accounts are an often-overlooked area that should be considered from an early age. If you want your family to have access to your computers, phones and tablets you should record your access details somewhere safe with confirmation of your wishes. If you do not do this there is no guarantee that they will be able to gain access as companies have strict rules about what they will and won’t allow and they may require additional court orders before taking any action.
Guides will often include a section for you to detail your funeral wishes, and many people ensure the costs are covered by taking out a funeral plan or even planning and paying for their funeral with their chosen undertaker in advance. Using Trust arrangements for other types of life insurance policy and ensuring your pension death benefit nominations are up to date can also speed up the financial support that your family will appreciate at this critical time.
Thought should also be given to the lead up to death. You may suffer a period of incapacity, including potentially lower mental capacity or communication ability, so it is important that your wishes are communicated well in advance.
Preparing a Power of Attorney before it is needed ensures that your wishes are met in terms of who is responsible for making decisions on your behalf and is a far easier process than obtaining a Power of Attorney through the courts for someone who is already unable to make their own decisions.