There is only one true certainty in life, and it is that one day, it must eventually come to an end. With very few exceptions, most of us have no idea when that day will arrive.
It may seem a little morbid to think about this, but actually it is important. Unfortunately in the modern world, death is not free. First, the tax man will come calling to claim his share of whatever you have left behind. There may be medical expenses to be paid. And then there are the costs of actually laying you to rest.
The cost of a funeral can involve more than just buying a memorial headstone. There are so many things that need to be covered financially, that it can be really shocking for anyone who has no experience with such things and is not properly prepared.
The most important step you can take to protect your family against the costs associated with your death is to make the proper preparations now, while you’re still alive. Obviously that is actually the only time you can do so, because when you’re not alive, it will be too late to help.
These are all good ideas to make arrangements for:
- A will – this is a legal document, usually (and best) prepared by a solicitor, which sets out how your assets should be divided. There are two types of will, the most common one being the well-known Last Will & Testament, and the other type being a “living will”, which is applied in a situation where you are alive but no longer technically able to function as a conscious person. Both are a very good idea to have
- Life insurance – this is insurance that pays out when you die. Life insurance can really be complicated. For one thing, many people have life insurance already, but don’t know they have it. Other times, people think they have real life insurance, when in fact they only have insurance cover that will pay off the balance of a loan, or something similar. For this, it is best to seek advice from a professional insurance consultant or broker, and find the best life insurance option for you.
- Funeral insurance – a relatively new type of insurance with low premiums that helps to cover the full cost of a funeral, so that it’s not a burden to those you leave behind. Even the most modest funeral is sure to be expensive.
- A trust fund – if you’ll be leaving behind a very substantial sum and you want to ensure that it is not squandered frivolously, you could consider setting up a trust fund, which allows you to specify rules and conditions about how and when money will be disbursed to the beneficiaries.
While it’s not strictly necessary to have all of these, it is sensible to have at least some plan in place, even if it is just simple funeral insurance to cover the costs of the funeral and memorial headstone.