I begin by quoting a comment on my first post Preparing for Death – Starting the Conversation on Monday 14 August, from Simon Lofthouse, Head of Private Client at Corbett Le Quesne:
‘A Will is just a small part of the end-of-life planning process. I always advocate lots of conversations so there are no surprises. Expectations can be managed and education provided if things are complex.’
Indeed. While many people may assume that the process begins and ends with the Will (which may be too often left to gather dust in the solicitor’s vault, whereas of course it needs to be regularly reviewed and updated), the subject is so much broader than that. I love Simon’s suggestion of lots of conversations.
Having initiated my own conversations among LinkedIn friends last week, today I am proposing to set out my current thinking on the Agenda for the weeks leading up to Christmas, starting in earnest next Tuesday 29 August. While in principle these will be weekly, I am planning that in one week in each of September, October and November (as indeed in August) there will be two posts per week.
It will be interesting to see people’s responses not just to the proposal below, but also as we progress through the end of the summer, the autumn and then the beginning of winter. While I am planning to call a halt to this series of posts in the week before Christmas, I might return to the subject in the New Year to see whether I might need to adjust somewhat my Twenty Top Tips.
So with gratitude for your responses so far, consider the following list.
My Twenty Top Tips
1. Your Will – Executor(s): Choosing Wisely.
2. Your Will – The Essentials.
3. Lasting Powers of Attorney – and Medical Wishes.
4. Arrangements for Children, Dependents and Pets.
5. Digital Assets.
6. Ready Access to Cash pre-probate – in Case of Need by your Surviving
7. Digital Assets (including Passwords).
8. The Death Certificate: Having the Necessary Information/Documents.
9. Funeral Arrangements.
10. People to Contact.
11. Inheritance Tax Planning.
12. The Territorial Aspect: Situs (Location of Assets), Residence and Domicile.
13. Charities Relief: maximising the Post-tax Estate on Death.
14. Interests in one or more Businesses/Management of Charities, Associations etc.
15. ‘Unfinished Business’ in terms of Relationships.
16. Thinking about God and the After-life.
17. Records of Information.
18. Decluttering: Clothes/Furniture/Papers & Other ‘Stuff’.
19. Your Home Contents (& Services) – Dealing with Them Post-Death.
20. Places to Visit/People to See.