Of your own free will

Ahead of Free Wills Month in March, research from Royal London reveals a quarter (26%) of people with a will do not discuss it as they do not want to think about dying. The research also found that one in four (27%) do not want to upset beneficiaries by discussing the contents of their will.  Talking about death can often be uncomfortable and difficult. By overcoming ‘death anxiety’, the natural fear of talking about death and the emotions associated with it, these important conversations can ensure your beneficiaries are aware of your wishes and understand them.

Royal London’s research found that nearly half (45%) of UK parents with adult children believe their will to be ‘no one’s business’ but their own or a partners. Sharing the contents of a will makes the financial and practical consequences of death easier for those left behind. Losing someone can have a huge impact on finances for months or even years to come, so it is crucial for families to be prepared. Royal London has given five top tips on how to approach the ‘When I’m gone’ conversation with your partner or family, the first being avoid talking to someone when they’re busy. Look for opportunities to broach the subject such as when you’re discussing the future or perhaps following the death of someone close to you. Next consider beginning the conversation with a question such as, “Have you ever wondered what would happen…? Do you think we should talk about…? and third think about how you would manage financially should the worst happen. What impact would losing a partner or family member have on your household income and your expenses? Be aware that your financial situation may change in the future. The last two are make sure you know where all important documents such as wills, bank details, insurance policies etc are kept, so that you have all the information you might need and finally prepare in advance; would you know how to manage the day-to-day finances? If not, consider how you could start to learn about them now so this doesn’t come as a shock.