This week, we share the key takeaways from our London 2016 Forum breakout on “Preparing for Life’s Major Financial Moments”, led by Margaret Kelly of Josiah-Lake Gardiner Solicitors & Ruth Sturkey of The Red House.
- Entering into Marriage or Partnerships: Consider getting a pre-nuptial agreement.
- Before you get married, discussions about a pre-nuptial agreement can help you and your partner determine how to sort your finances if the relationship does go awry. It’s like life insurance; hopefully you never need it but at least you know you are protected if things do go wrong. More importantly, discussions around the pre-nuptial can help to work out future "kinks" in your relationship. Money is the number one reason for arguments between couples. Working out a system of financial understanding beforehand can help reduce the need to trigger the pre-nuptial agreement.
- If you’re not planning on getting married, it’s even more imperative that you have a legal agreement in place with your partner; a woman can’t just assume that she is a “common law” wife.
- And for those of you who are married, a post-nuptial allows you and your partner to settle your affairs and assets in the event of a separation or divorce. In general, it’s always better to be up front about things with your partner as soon as possible and discuss things while the relationship is still “looking up”, as they say.
- Caring for Elderly Parents: Set up Power-of-Attorney and Medical Directives.
- Introducing the topic of a Living Will may be a good way to open the conversation with elderly relatives on what their wishes should they become incapacitated and/or when they pass.
- Specifically, put a legal Power-of-Attorney in place while your relatives are still sound of mind. This will allow you to make decisions on their behalf.
- While putting in place a Power-of-Attorney, also set up a Medical Directive at the same time. This will allow you to make medical decisions on your relative's behalf.
- If your relative is receptive, discuss the concept of Last Will & Testament, or at the very least have him/her update beneficiary forms across their accounts. (This applies to partnerships as well.)
- Caring for your loved ones: Set up your legal Will.
- If you have a very straightforward situation, there are online services that can produce a Will for as little as £200-300. Though if your budget allows, it is best to seek personalized legal advice.
- You may need multiple Wills if you hold assets in different jurisdictions. You will need to seek local advice from each country or a specialist who is familiar with the legalities of each country you are dealing with.
- While personalized legal advice is still the preference, using an online service is still better than doing nothing at all.
What are your thoughts? What advice can you share from your experiences preparing for your life's major financial moments? Please share your thoughts with us on Facebook here.