It’s only normal if you have a husband, wife or civil partner that you will want to do everything you can to make sure they’re looked after financially in the event of your death. But it’s not as straightforward as ensuring that they are named as a beneficiary in your will, as if you don’t take a number of possible complications into account, you could unintentionally leave your spouse dealing with financial troubles during what is already going to be a testing time. Here are some key issues to think about to make sure your significant other is taken care of with as few financial problems as possible.
1. Have an open conversation with your spouse
It could be an awkward conversation, but it’s essential to speak with your spouse whilst you can about safeguarding their financial security after you’re gone. Having this talk together with a financial adviser is also recommended, as that way any questions you have can be answered immediately and you can ensure all the relevant paperwork is in order for when the time comes.
2. Make sure your will is in order
If you don’t make certain that your assets will pass to your spouse in the way that you want them to, this could create issues and lead to your significant other being left in financial difficulties after your death. If you want assets such as businesses or property to be sold in order to provide for them, this needs to be clearly worded in your will. Do all you can to make sure your will can’t be contested too: relatives and dependents can dispute your will if they feel it doesn’t adequately provide for them, so making sure your will is up to date, fair and correctly worded will help to stop this from happening.
3. Deal with as much of your debt as possible
Whoever you name as the executor of your will—likely to be a spouse for most married couples—will be responsible for paying all of your remaining debts after you’re gone. These include everything from mortgages, loans and credit cards to personal debts owed to family and friends. Leaving as little debt as possible is obviously the best option, as outstanding debts will need to be paid from your estate. In circumstances where you owe more money than the value of your estate, this creates extra complications as creditors need to be paid in a strict order—your spouse may even need to take out a new loan in order to cover the debts you’ve left behind.
These are just a few of the many considerations you should make for the financial security of your spouse.
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