Get your financial affairs in order and start the year on the right foot.
A new year gives you the chance to start afresh. It's also a great time to get your financial affairs in order and to let your family know where to find your paperwork.
Making plans for your family’s future is all well and good, but if you don’t let them know where to find the information, it’s simply been a waste of time. Gathering your paperwork in one place will ease the stress should something happen to you, so what should you be pulling together?
Life insurance, funeral insurance, private health insurance and any other insurances that you have should be easily accessible in the likelihood that your family need to make a claim or cancel any policies. This is also a good time to review your insurance as you may be over or under insured. Also, superannuation policies and certain credit cards can also have insurance linked, so don’t forget to include these. Make sure your contact details and next of kin information is up-to-date.
While details of who gets what should be included in your will, it’s important to ensure that your partner or family members can access any bank accounts should something happen to you.
Is your will up-to-date and does it have the correct details of your assets? Also, if you have a property solely in your name, you may wish to include your partner on the title deeds so ownership will automatically be transferred.
It’s important to review your nominated beneficiaries on superannuation and life insurance policies and that you understand the financial implications of such decisions.
It goes without saying that your will should be updated regularly, but you also need to make sure that someone knows where a copy is kept.
Power of attorney
You may wish to grant someone power of attorney or enduring power of attorney so they can deal with your affairs should you become incapacitated. This is always easier to arrange beforehand and obviously should only be given to someone who you trust implicitly.
Arrange safe storage of important documents. This can be in a fireproof, lockable case at home, or in a safety deposit box at your bank. And don’t forget to tell someone where your paperwork is kept.
For more details on how to manage your affairs, visit Moneysmart.gov.au