A Practical Guide to Life and Death

Steps to take in preparation and when a loved one dies

Preparing for the Inevitable: A Proactive Approach

Facing the reality of our eventual departure is undoubtedly a challenging prospect for both ourselves and our loved ones. However, by taking practical steps now, we can alleviate some of the burdens that might arise later. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you prepare for the inevitable and assist your family during a difficult time:

Craft a Will: Don’t leave your loved ones in a bind. Making a will is a crucial step to ensure your wishes are honoured after you’re gone. Without a will, complications and delays can arise, and your assets might not end up where you intended.

Keep Your Will Updated: Life evolves, and so do your intentions. Regularly review and update your will to reflect any changes in your circumstances, guaranteeing that your wishes remain clear and up-to-date.

Ensure Financial Support: While your estate is being settled, your family may need interim financial support. Include provisions in your financial planning to provide for your dependents during this transition period.

Organise Your Documents: Keep important documents – your will, certificates, policies, investments, and more – in one accessible place. Keep them updated, ensuring that your loved ones can readily access the information they need.

Select a Competent Executor: The process of estate settlement can be intricate. Choose an executor who is well-versed in the legal procedures involved and is committed to fulfilling their duties diligently.

Navigating the Aftermath: Practical Steps for Coping

Losing a loved one is an emotionally charged experience, and amidst the turmoil, practical matters must be addressed. Here’s a practical roadmap to help you navigate the aftermath of a loved one’s passing:

  • Call for Help: If someone close to you passes away, immediately notify a doctor or the police. Once a death notice is signed, a reputable funeral director can guide you through the process, handling important tasks like arranging the funeral, notices, and more.
  • Notify the Necessary Parties: Inform your family, friends, and relevant organizations of the passing. You can delegate this task to a trusted friend or family member if you need support.
  • Take Time to Grieve: Grief is a natural process, and it’s essential to give yourself the space to mourn. While you do, ensure that the initial steps outlined in the will, particularly those related to funeral arrangements, are adhered to.
  • Address Financial Concerns: When someone passes away, their accounts are typically frozen. This can create financial challenges for surviving family members. Gather financial records, policies, and statements to help plan for the months ahead.
  • Budget and Seek Guidance: Examine your financial situation and create a budget to understand your needs. Don’t hesitate to seek professional financial advice to navigate this period effectively.
  • Collaborate with the Executor: Streamline the estate settlement process by working closely with the appointed executor. Organize information and documentation to facilitate their tasks, ensuring a smoother transition.
  • Review Ownership and Plans: Update joint accounts, investments, and insurance plans to reflect the new reality. Meet with a trustworthy financial advisor to make informed decisions about your future.
  • Ask Questions: In times of uncertainty, seeking clarification is vital. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to ensure you fully understand the processes and decisions you’re making.

Guiding you through life’s transitions

At IE&T, we stand ready to guide you through the practical aspects of estate planning and settlement. With years of experience, we’re here to offer both expertise and empathy, helping you navigate these complex processes while acknowledging the emotional challenges you may face.