It’s im­por­tant to break that deathly si­lence

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - MONEYLIVING -

No one likes to think about what might hap­pen when they’re no longer around.

But a new re­port sug­gests that our re­luc­tance to tackle the sub­ject is leav­ing fam­i­lies sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­pre­pared for the fi­nan­cial im­pact of death.

While some sim­ply haven’t got around to dis­cussing their and their fam­ily’s wishes in the event of a death, oth­ers may find the thought too up­set­ting.

But not dis­cussing the sub­ject at all could have huge fi­nan­cial reper­cus­sions down the line.

Nearly two-thirds of UK adults feel that death is a taboo sub­ject, ac­cord­ing to Aviva’s Fam­ily Fi­nances re­port.

Fu­neral ar­range­ments and life-chang­ing ill­nesses rank among the top­ics peo­ple feel least com­fort­able talk­ing about with their fam­ily.

The re­search also sug­gests par­ents are more likely to have a donor card than a for­mal plan in place for their chil­dren.

More than one in four par­ents sur­veyed have an or­gan donor card, while just one in seven have a for­mal, writ­ten plan cov­er­ing who will take care of their chil­dren if any­thing were to hap­pen to them.

The sur­vey of more than 2,000 peo­ple aged be­tween 18 and 55 also found that more than half felt they should have a will but hadn’t got round to ar­rang­ing one.

Louise Col­ley, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of pro­tec­tion at Aviva, says: “It’s been said that there are only two things cer­tain in life: death and taxes.

“It’s per­fectly un­der­stand­able why peo­ple are re­luc­tant to talk about the lat­ter, but if we can’t talk about some­thing, then it is im­pos­si­ble to plan for it.”

She added: “We need to change the ap­proach to con­ver­sa­tions about mor­tal­ity.

“Hav­ing hon­est and open dis­cus­sions around fi­nan­cial and prac­ti­cal ar­range­ments can re­ally help to avoid even greater hard­ship if the worst should hap­pen.”

She ad­vises to make a list of sub­jects you might need to talk about, to in­clude pre­ferred fu­neral ar­range­ments, hav­ing a will in place, care of any de­pen­dents such as your chil­dren, plan­ning ahead to save on in­her­i­tance tax, as­sign­ing a power of at­tor­ney and pref­er­ences in terms of treat­ment and care.

Gen­tly broach the topic in a gen­eral way.

If the other per­son seems un­com­fort­able, con­sider dis­cussing this an­other time.

Mak­ing fi­nan­cial plans ahead of your pass­ing can be dif­fi­cult sub­ject

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