It’s a racing certainty you’ll need a funeral. So why not plan ahead?
So far, pretty much everyone who has ever lived has died, and passed into non-existence or heaven or been reborn according to your beliefs. But normally your earthly remains have to be disposed of, in a manner which is satisfactory both to the authorities and, one hopes, to those left behind. And you earthly affairs have to be settled too, the the Taxmans satisfaction.
It seems to us that the “right” thing to do is to look at planned funerals. Organising and planning your own exit strategy. Not just your funeral, but your legal plans and – perish the thought – ensuring all your paperwork is well organised and up to date. There is only one time to start. NOW, because your funeral plans could need to be actioned anytime including today. Every age group has at least a 1 in 100 chance of dying in any given year – and where is the harm in being organised?.
Step 1 in Planning to get organised.
Lets imagine you lose your memory, and are given the task of sorting out and organising all your paperwork. That is pretty much what happens to the executors of most estates. If the executor is a solicitor, they may be spending £200 an hour of your hard earned money sorting out things which you could have done in a fraction of the time, Had you left your papers organised and sensibly filed and located, the executor job could be accomplished in a fraction of the time, meaning that thousands of pounds will go to your family or your favourite charities rather than into the lawyers pockets. This is not a criticism of lawyers, but of the fact that disorganised people force them to waste hours and hours weeding out old paperwork which is NOT needed and requesting paper work which IS needed such as cheque stubs (which often give no indication where the money went) and bank statements. So one of the missions of this site is for you to get properly organised and to throw out records and papers which are NOT needed whilst retaining carefully organised all the records which are needed.
Most families need professional help with the paper work surrounding a death – around 70% allow a Bank or solicitor to carry out the work of probate. Their charges vary dramatically, with banks typically being very substantially more expensive than solicitors. Both tend to suffer from being control freaks and once appointed as executors they have been known to insist on their full fee (for no work) if the family do not want them to act.
We strongly recommend you appoint The Probate Department Ltd to help with your estate, either as a full executor if your family may be too busy or not really suited to the job (they might be upset that you have died and find sorting everything out to be torture) or as reserve and advisory executor in case the family need help or are unwilling or unable to act.
Step 2 Getting your Legal and Financial Planning in order.
Once your paperwork is well organised, you will have some idea of what assets you have and where they are.
If your assets total more than £5,000 you will need to write a Will and everyone should appoint people to manage both your finances and personal welfare if you should become unable to. Allied Professional Will Writers can arrange that for you if you live in England and Wales.
If your assets are over the Nil Rate Bands for Inheritance Tax (£325,000 for a single person or £650,000 for a married/ civil registered couple but don’t forget to include life insurance, which can make a tremendous difference if the first person to die is well insured) then you should read Inheritance Tax Secrets. This informative ebook is set out in such a way that you can read it a section at a time and make notes in those sections which affect you. You can then discuss the notes with the relevant professional advisers and your family.
Even if your assets are over the Nil Rate Band, if you are a couple owning your own home, then you should also consider Asset Protection. Amongst other things, your Local Authority is reasonably likely to end up selling your home to pay care fees – both is’s charges for care at home and far worse, its charges for care in a nursing home. Few people can pay up to £50,000 a year out of income should they be unfortunate enough to need 24 hour cares. We recomend that you subscribe to and read Asset Protection Secrets
Step 3 Pay for your Funeral.
Now you have a good idea of your finances, you can consider investing in a pre-paid funeral plan. The funeral plan will secure most or all of the cost of your funeral, whether it is in 6 months or 60 years time. With inflation in funeral costs running well ahead of inflation, this can be an excellent investment. It is also likely that a funeral plan will be disregarded should a Local Authority or Benefits Agency be assessing your assets to see how much support they will give you.
Step 4: Pre Plan Your Funeral.
Families find many ways of falling out at funerals so it makes a lot of sense to look at thing like where it should be, what about a party/ wake, who should be invited, will you be buried (where and do you own a plot) or cremated. What about a message from you? How about setting aside little remembrances for people (named, and with many spares). At the end of the day, do you want to give one family member the authority to deal with everything?