How a simple list can help your loved ones after your death.

Although it may not feel like it, your family finances are probably more precious than you think. It’s all well and good when the breadwinners are healthy and working, but if something unfortunate were to happen, the outlook for those around you could change instantly.

Research from Macmillan [1] highlights the worrying fact that two in three people living in Britain don’t have a Will – including 42% of over 55s. Without an up-to-date Will, the law could supersede a person’s final wishes and leave treasured possessions, money, property and even dependent children with someone they may not have chosen.

This news comes despite official guidance recommending that people review their Will every five years and after any major life changes [2], yet a quarter of Wills have not been updated for at least five years [3].

Top five things to do to help your lived ones after you have gone:

  1. Write a Will – A ensures that the right people inherit from you, and while most of us know how important it is to have a Will and keep it up to date, many of us don’t do it. The research shows that three in five adults (60%) don’t have a Will, and a quarter (26%) of those are aged 55 and above. It’s especially important for cohabiting couples to have a Will, as the surviving partner does not automatically inherit any estate or possessions left behind.
  2. Think about care of children – If you have children, it’s important to decide on guardians, but three in five (58%) parents with children under 18 haven’t chosen guardians should they die. Think about who you want to step inside this role, and ask them if they’d be happy to do so. Then make sure you appoint them as guardians in your Will.
  3. Write a ‘when i’m gone’ list – More than one in ten (12%) adults admitted that it would be very difficult for anyone to handle their financial affairs after they died. Pulling together all your personal and financial information into one simple document can really help your loved ones when you’re gone.
  4. Make a plan to pay for your funeral – Research shows that the average cost of a funeral is around £3,800, with one in six people (16%) saying they struggled with the cost. Having a plan in place to pay for your funeral will mean your family won’t have to find several thousand pounds at a difficult time.
  5. Have a conversation with your family – Having a conversation with your family about your wishes can remove a great deal of uncertainty for them in the event of your death. The research shows that of those who have had to arrange a funeral, two in five (41%) were not left any instructions from the deceased. Starting a conversation might include talking about your funeral wishes with your loved ones or showing them where your important documents are kept.

Protecting your family

It’s an old saying that you should look at protecting before investing, and they are wise words because it’s more important to make sure that your family are covered against the financial impact of your premature death than it is to invest for an uncertain future. Please contact us for a review of your situation – we look forward to hearing from you.


Source Data:
[1] Macmillan/Opinion Matters online survey of 2,000 UK adults. Fieldwork conducted 1-4 December 2017. Figures based on total population.
[2] Office for National Statistics. UK population mid-year estimate for adults aged 18 or over. Available from: