One of the biggest mistakes you could make with your finances as you get older is to neglect to protect them! As you may have guessed, I’m talking about the thing that we start to think about more as we get older, the delineation that the ‘middle’ in middle-aged is referring to: death.
Let’s take a look at some of the financial steps you need to be taking if you haven’t taken them already.
Will and testament
A lot people under 34 aren’t very good at setting up wills. As we approach these middle years, it’s pretty essential that we think seriously about doing so. Without a will, there’s going to be so much financial stress on the people you leave behind. You can read more about this problem. Visit: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/05/01/many-boomers-dont-have-wills-poll-finds/.
With a will, you have the final word when it comes to what happens with your assets. Without it, others will take care of it (i.e. the government) and, in the process, take their “fair” share of it. So start drafting up a will with an attorney if you’re a bit stuck on how to do it. And remember: if your circumstances change, then you’ll need to update your will. You don’t just create it, sign it, and forget about it: it’s a dynamic legal arrangement, and you’ll have to revisit it over the years.
Don’t underestimate life insurance
Life insurance is something you need to be strategic about, because it’s not as simple as many people think it is. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, though. Don’t think that a will is going to cover all the post-mortem complexities! Of course, the first thing you need to decide is what type of life insurance to go for.
In very general terms, there are two main types: whole-of-life insurance and term insurance. Whole-of-life insurance is the most expensive complex. Term insurance is the one that people usually refer to when they speak about life insurance. It covers a specific amount of time, for example, twenty or so years. It’s certainly popular among the middle-aged! If you need more information about life insurance for your specific circumstances, visit: insurancehero.org.uk/types/life-insurance-over-40.html.
Asset protection through shared ownership
One of the best ways of protecting an asset. Joint ownership. At the end of the day, estate planning is basically a matter of who owns what once you’re no longer around. And when we think about ownership, we’re usually only thinking of one owner of an asset. But if two people own an asset? Then it’s clear who will get the asset when one of them dies. The “right of survivorship” law has your back here. You can read more about that right by visiting: info.courthousedirect.com/blog/bid/336878/How-Does-Right-of-Survivorship-Work.
Joint ownership agreements are very prevalent in the world of real estate, and many believe that it really doesn’t exist much outside of it. But if you buy any asset with a joint bank account, then more often than not that asset will be jointly owned. If one of the owners die, the survivor then gets full ownership.