Thinking ahead – ensuring your loved ones are taken care of

|     Standard Chartered Bank     |

A LARGE majority of people work hard and invest their money wisely in order to provide a better and brighter future for their children and their generation after – this may mean investing or working hard to purchase property, to provide further education or to ensure they can get a good start in life. Parents want only the best for their children so that they do not have to face challenges that they think may hinder them from enjoying full and enriching lives.

While this is an important life goal for most people, it is equally important that this goal is protected by planning far ahead to the allocation of your estate which will help to protect your interest and those of your loved ones. While some view this as being overly cautious, planning ahead can spare your loved ones or next-of-kin the long and sometimes frustrating process of administrating your estate.

You do not necessarily have to be very rich or own a lot of property to plan ahead for your estate. So long as you have assets like a house or land titles, you should think about how to distribute these amongst your next-of-kin. You do not also have to wait for retirement. Planning for your estate is as relevant while you are in your 30s as it is in your 50s. It prepares you and your family for any uncertainties.

The main benefit of planning your estate is that you can control what portions of your estate will be passed on to your family and those you love. This will help to prevent any possible disputes amongst family members in addition to consoling doubts that any of your family members may have on the passing on of your estate. Putting some thought into your estate planning can help you to have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are taken care of. Similarly, they know that you have thought about their future and that they will not have to worry about any unexpected decisions.

Estate planning will also help to ensure that you do not leave any unfulfilled debts behind. You should ensure that all current debts can be fulfilled in case you pass on. Most loans will have insurances tagged on to them to ensure that the loan will be paid off in case of accidental death. As such, you should check if your liabilities are properly covered and if not, what kind of arrangements can be taken to ensure that these can be settled in full.

It is important to choose a personal representative to administer your estate. Choose a reliable and trustworthy representative who can be objective when it comes to handling family matters or issues. You will have to grant your personal representative certain powers in order for them to execute matters of your estate.

If your children are still young while you are planning your estate, appoint a guardian for your children. Even if it is your spouse, ensure that this is expressly stated to avoid any doubts.

Part of your estate planning will also include your funeral arrangements which will be of a great help to your loved ones during the time of your passing on.

This article is for general information purposes only and while the information in it is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by us. You are advised to exercise your own independent judgement with the contents in this article.