Organising your financial affairs

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Doing what you can to sort out your money before you die can really help those left behind, and can avoid problems at a difficult time.

The Money Advice Service provide some useful hints and tips to help you prepare.

Step 1 - Make a will

  • If you haven’t already got a will now is the time to make one.
  • If you want to make sure that your money and your belongings – your assets – go to the people or charities you want then you need to make this clear in a will.
  • If you don’t the law will decide who they go to – and this might not be who you want it to be.

Step 2 - Get your paperwork together

  • You know where you keep your paperwork, whether it’s in a file or just a particular drawer – but your executor won’t.
  • It’s a big help to them if you let them know where you keep important documents such as:
    • Property deeds
    • Divorce Papers
    • Bank statements
    • Outstanding bills
    • Insurance policies
    • Credit card statements
    • Mortgage information
    • Birth and marriage certificates
    • Tax certificates such as your P60
    • Details of savings and investments – including: share certificates, Premium Bonds and pension plan statements

Step 3 - Let your executor know where your will is

  • If no-one can find your will it could be ignored.
  • Make sure your executor and your family know where to find it when they need it so your wishes can be carried out.

Step 4 - Think about clearing your unsecured debts if you can

  • If you have any unsecured debts – this means debts like credit cards and loans that aren’t secured against your house – then if you can afford it you might want to pay them off.
  • This simplifies things for your executor, which in turn means that the money and  personal gifts you want to leave won’t take so long to get to the people you choose.

Step 5 - Get some help in place in case you need it

  • If there’s a chance you’ll become too ill to manage your money, it’s a good idea to think ahead about who should be able to do it for you.
  • It might be especially important to gain quick access to your money for anything from special treatments to family visits.
  • You can Make informal arrangements with your family or friends to deal with financial institutions on your behalf.
  • But you might also want to think about a formal arrangement – power of attorney – if you expect there to be a long period where someone else needs to act on your behalf.
  • The information provided in this article is for guidance and educational purposes only. Police Credit Union Ltd. does not offer regulated financial advice. Please seek independent financial advice.

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