Fundamentally, if you don’t plan your assets, the Government or other people will have your assets.
I attended an Estate & Will Planning session recently and the main message I got out of this event was: Fundamentally, if you don’t plan your assets, the Government or other people will have your assets.
If you want your assets or estate to fall into the right hands, YOU MUST PLAN IT.
People consider talking about planning one’s Estates and Wills as a morbid topic. It is not, it is simply being organized, as with everything else, like a well organized wardrobe. It is terribly important to document one’s asset and wishes and the way you wish for it to be managed or shared.
First things first, know your assets. Many people have funds, shares, pensions in forgotten accounts. Take time out to dig and list out all that you have and bring them up to date.
I’ve always had a Will in place, to which I attach my List of Assets and I do my best to re-evaluate it as required. Lockdown gave me the time to update my Asset List.
I discovered a lump sum Pension payment I made over twenty years ago, which I had forgotten all about. I have moved houses several times since I made a deposit into that Pension pot. The organisation must have tried to reach me to update me on the status of my Pension, without any luck and eventually stopped writing to me.
It was a good discovery. I contacted the organisation immediately and brought my details up to date. If I hadn’t done that, I would most likely have lost that fund to the organisation or Government forever, small as it may be.
Find, list and bring your accounts, assets, shares etc, up to date. You can’t plan it if you don’t know what you have.
List out all the particulars relating to the asset, like the Type of Asset e.g. Current Account, Savings Account, Pension; the Institution, Reference Numbers, Name in which it is held, what it is Worth, what you Plan to do with it e.g. transfer it to your grandchild etc.
Wouldn’t it be much nicer if your child, grandchild, charity of your choice etc. benefitted from this lost asset, than the Government or no one at all?
Wouldn’t it be a shame and a waste of your hard work if you lost your asset to the Government or an institution like a bank? There are so many un-claimable funds in Swiss Banks, because relatives have not been notified of the existence of the funds and instructions as to what to be done with the funds in the event of one’s demise.
Let a trusted person or organization e.g. Solicitor know where your List of Assets is located. So many people have passed on with funds in their accounts, un-accessible by their loved ones, leaving their loved ones destitute. That’s a shame.
Have a copy of Asset List on your phone and Travellers, keep a copy in your Travel Case.
In the Estate & Will Planning session, the Lawyer illustrated various scenarios from Intestacy, Divorces, Re-marriages, Children from previous marriages, Children borne out of wedlock, Dependants, Sponsees, Charities, Organ Donors, Funeral Wishes etc. to name a few. If you fall into any of these categories, find the time to iron out all these complexities and bring clarity into your intentions for your loved ones and your personal wishes.
If you have a Complex Family Arrangement, seek the services of an Estate Planner so that they can put clarity into your wishes.
If you have expensive Estates, which is not well planned, your loved ones would end up paying hefty taxes to the Government. The taxes vary from country to country, just as Intestacy Laws and there’s the added complication of Culture and Religion. If you don’t state how you want your affairs to be managed, the Government and other people will dictate your affairs.
Source your assets, list them all out, categorize them, include a plan for the items. Guess what, you would feel the weight lift off your shoulder and you’ll feel much freer to do more with life. You’ll feel more creative.
At what age should you list out your asset? You are never too young to have an Asset List. If you have a Savings Account or a bicycle, list it.’😊
Download a sample Asset List Register here:
For more information on Estate Planning, contact Jane.Morel@sternberg-reed.co.uk or any suitable Solicitor. Do something!