It’s not the birds and the bees, but talking about death is just as important
Just the thought of one’s mortality can bring out strong emotions and feelings of anxiety. We all know death is inevitable, but dealing with it doesn’t make it less difficult. Even more challenging is talking about death with our loved ones. The people who will be left behind to deal with loss and grief.
It can be easier to park these hard emotional conversations, and instead focus on the money side of death. Who gets what and how. Most of us know of families that have had their relationships changed forever because of the unfairness some have felt with inheritance. However, the unfairness usually stems from not having the hard conversations before death, not from the flow of money. I know from first-hand experience that this can have far-reaching adverse effects on the people, and their relationships, that you leave behind.
I encourage you to start having conversations around death with your loved ones when you next feel comfortable to do so. Ask them if they have thought about your passing, and what they felt when they did. Speak to their emotions first, and acknowledge that it is an uncomfortable, difficult conversation. Try and avoid the financial aspect of death until you have explored the emotional side. When you do bring in money, the conversations will be more valuable and comforting for all those involved.
As we like to say at Chartered Wealth, our loved ones would give up all the money they intend leaving behind just to spend one extra day with us.
Four tips to remember when it comes to your Will
- Make sure you and spouse each have your own original Will. Joint Wills can cause havoc as the originals are routinely misplaced by the Master’s office
- Make sure your original Will is signed, witnessed and dated correctly. It is also important that none of your witnesses are beneficiaries of your Will.
- Think carefully about who you want to act as your executor. The burden on your family is tremendous, and often does not come with the savings benefits one imagines.
- If you have offshore assets, make sure these are referred to in the appropriate way. Fixed assets in many countries carry additional burdens and should be discussed with professionals.
If you need help with having these conversations with your loved ones, Chartered Wealth has a number of Retiremeant™ Specialists, who are experienced in facilitating these types of discussions.
In terms of your Will drafting, Chartered Wealth are fortunate to have the services of Chartered Legacy and Trust. Kerryn Franck, and her team of specialist attorneys, understand that drafting the right Will takes time, in order to ensure that every client feels confident that their intentions have been communicated correctly through their Will.
If you would like to discuss any aspects of your will, please do so by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Potgieter and Tom Brukman tackle the difficult topic about talking about death with our loved ones, as well as tips to remember when drafting your Will.