Leave behind great memories
When you’re fit, healthy and loving life, it’s no fun to think about passing away.
Even though you’re out there living life to the full, it pays to take a moment to prepare for what comes next.
We all want to leave our partners, children, grandchildren, with happy memories of a life well lived.
Here’s a practical list of things to you may want to consider to help you look out for your loved ones when you’re no longer here.
- Work through your precious items
You can help your family decide what to do with your items, by noting down who you’d like to pass them on to.
Look around your home, in cupboards, under the house – what happens to everything when you go? For your family, sorting through decades of memorabilia can be a lovely walk down memory lane, but how will they know if something is important? If you have a plan for those items that are truly special it could save your family time, money and heartache.
- Review your estate planning
When your estate is up to date it makes it much easier to finalise matters. If you don’t have an estate plan you can’t be completely sure your wishes will be carried out. The important decisions about the end of your life will be made by the legal system rather than your family. Getting your will sorted is an important first step, but you should also assign someone to make your medical decisions for you if you can’t. Then let your loved ones know what you’ve done, so there are no surprises.
- Create a go-folder
There are a lot of things that live in your head – and it’ll take a detective to work them out unless you write them down somewhere. Putting together a go-folder means that whoever is taking care of things after you go will have a much easier time of it. Leaving this information organised isn’t just about reducing stress – it can also save your family money. Your go-folder, which can be hardcopy or digital could include all your important documents – will, passport, birth and marriage certificates and any insurance policies – plus contact details of important people – your lawyer, broker, financial adviser or anyone else who holds important records.
Also consider leaving information on your utilities and services – your internet and mobile provider, power company, the person who mows your lawns. Then, go through the same list and call each company to add a loved one’s name to the account. This means shutting down your accounts may be a simple phone call, not weeks of back-and-forth proving that you’ve really gone.
- Make plans for plants and pets
Plants are fairly easy to re-home, but taking on pets is a big responsibility. Start thinking about who could care for them in case you go before they do. It’s a lovely idea to note down care instructions, tips and habits for the new owner – and perhaps leave some money in your will to help cover vet bills and food.
- Consider how your Funeral Expenses will paid
Funerals are important for those you’re leaving behind. It’s their way of saying goodbye, showing respect and thanking you for everything you did for them. Your family will want to show how much you were loved and have time to grieve together. For them that might mean wanting to lay you to rest in a beautiful casket and holding a special, meaningful ceremony or gathering together with whānau for a few days. Whatever the cultural tradition, funeral rituals genuinely help start the healing process. Your family may want to provide nice food and they may also feel like cars and flowers are important too. All of that does that come at a cost – the average cost of a funeral in New Zealand is currently between $8000-$10,000. Funeral grants for lower-income families are just over $2000, which helps cover the basics but may not be enough to cover the cost of a decent send off.
Many people either don’t have enough savings to fund their funeral or would rather that money was a nest egg for their grandchildren. Others may have their wealth wrapped up in assets or property which cannot be accessed quickly as this all needs to go through the lengthy probate process. If you’re in this position having ring fenced funds to draw on from an insurance policy is a great alternative option for you to consider so that you know that all of this is taken care of.
Make it easy for the people you leave behind
Funeral insurance is a simple, sensible and affordable way to remove all that stress for your family. Many insurance products, like Cigna’s, offer guaranteed acceptance for Kiwis 50-80 years old. This means you don’t need to answer any medical questions. At age 90 you stop paying premiums – even while your cover continues. Your family can expect a cash payment within two days of Cigna receiving the completed claim forms. Your family can use the cash for anything they choose and they won’t pay tax on it. If you pass away from natural causes within the first 24 months, your family will be refunded all of your premiums paid. After 24 months your cover is paid out regardless of whether you pass away from a health condition or an accident.
To find out just how affordable this would be You can get an estimate of the premium here.
This article was brought to you by Cigna. You can contact the friendly Cigna team on 0800 244 005 to discuss Funeral Cover or apply online today by clicking here. If you purchase a Funeral cover policy before 31st July 2020 you will be in the draw to win 1 of 5 $1,000 Prezzy cards.