COVID-19 ACTION PLAN
Recent events have focussed people’s attention to ‘what ifs’ and planning and we have developed a Covid 19 Action Plan to try to guide you through key areas that in our opinion should be considered:
Wills – Do you have one? If not, you need one.
• If you have, is it valid?
• Is it appropriate now?
• Do you know where it is?
• Do your beneficiaries know where it is?
• When did you last review it?
Do you have an EPA or LPA’s? If not, you need to consider why not now.
• If you have an EPA, you need to consider whether it is still appropriate?
• Again, do you know where it is?
• Do your beneficiaries know where it is?
Do you have a Funeral Plan?
If not, you need to consider why not now. If you die tomorrow, your beneficiaries could pay more for your Funeral than you would pay today for the same Funeral.
Where are all your assets and liabilities recorded and evidenced?
Think about what you have and what you owe and evidence this. The simple fact is that Assets are not claimed when someone dies, because nobody knows they exist.
Also, with the amount of passwords we all seem to have these days, we feel you should consider compiling a list starting with priority passwords. Obviously you need to be sure that your information is safe and you need to decide who to give the information to or who to advise where the information is and how it can be accessed. We can assist by storing confidential paperwork with your Will and we also suggest you store other important paperwork with it, for example, property deeds. You then have important documents safely stored remotely in one place and documents can be updated as and when details change. Charges do apply, but they are minimal.
Long Term Care or indeed any care, can prove to be expensive.
However, planning can ensure that liquid assets are protected and the family home that you want to pass on to future generations can also be protected.
A property worth £250,000 could be sold to pay for Care. If the cost is £1000 per week, your asset would be lost forever in around five years.
The worst situation we have seen is an elderly gentleman in care, who had effectively spent the value of his property and then he inherited money from his sister and that then went into the pot to be spent on care.
They were two people who could have taken advice and then various children and grandchildren would have not lost the inheritance the inheritance the elderly gentleman thought would be left to them.
Bloodline Planning or the simple term, keep it in the family.
Are you sure that in the event of your Death, your assets will pass to the people you want to benefit from them and are you sure that they will then be protected?
Do you think there is a chance your other half will marry again? Does one of your children have no luck when it comes to relationships? Are you leaving assets to someone who has problems with money or who is going through a divorce or who could go through a Divorce?
We have seen it all!! The daughter who has married the same guy three times and obviously got divorced twice and assets could have and still could walk off up the high street with the ex on divorce. The son who has serious issues with a business, who would love to inherit a lump sum as that could be the start of a new chapter in his life, but the funds simply go to creditors.
One thing is certain, life is never predictable and planning means that whatever happens, you can be certain that your still provide financial protection for your loved ones after your death.
Business Succession. Do you have any interests in any business?
A lot of businesses have insurance to help deal with what ifs, but what if you die. Would it not be simple to have a plan in place whereby your share of the asset can be passed to your family to enable them to take the money and walk away, if that is what they want to do, leaving the business you worked hard to build trading and moving forward.
We are not Financial Advisers. However, we know that people quite often do not prioritise financial objectives and they should do. Some American Financial Advisers carry miniature coffins in their briefcases and put them in the middle of the table when they start a review meeting. They simply say, you are in that, what do you do? The comments refer to a couple and the husband has died and the wife is left a widow.
Extreme? Possibly. It however could be reality, so we recommend a back to basics approach whereby you look at what ifs and you prioritise planning based upon budget. How many people insure their Pet or even their washing machine, but not their income of their life? Too many in our opinion.
Credit Score Protection.
This is free and so vitally important in our opinion.
So many businesses and families have been hit financially by recent events.
Many people taking a holiday right now with the government paying the majority of their wages will face unemployment eventually when the company they worked for either closes or scales down its operations.
We suggest you look at all outgoings and assess what you need. Then talk to everyone about what they do for you and what they charge and what can be done to reduce costs.
If you cannot keep up payments, you will be in a much better position moving forward if you have spoken to lenders and made arrangements to pay or defer paying. Many payment holidays were set up for say three months and they will come to an end and you should approach the organisations again and see what they can for you.
Missed payments and defaults on your credit files are a nightmare to get amended after the event and can literally cost you dearly for up to six years when you try to borrow and find that only lenders with high interest rates will lend to you.
We also suggest you keep a log of all conversations, so you then have a record of what was agreed and when.
Also, be prepared to be patient!! The volume of telephone calls can result in long call times, but it is a very worthwhile exercise.
There is guidance online, but we feel the basic strategy to follow is above. Two pages we think could be helpful are found via the link below:
We hope this relatively simple COIVD-19 plan helps you plan what to do and obviously please contact us to discuss any query you have after reading this.