We should always look on the bright side. But, just occasionally, life can change in a heartbeat.
One day you might feel fine and dandy. The next you might be diagnosed with a serious illness and be unable to work.
Of course, we hope this never happens, but it pays to be prepared.
A financial adviser can work with you to protect your loved ones if you become seriously ill or die – and ensure they can hold on to assets you have built up.
Get it covered
Before an adviser can come up with a plan, you’ll need to tell them about your current finances.
This means deciding how much your family would need to survive on without the main earner.
Rowena Griffiths, financial planner with Female Financial Management, says: “I ask clients to go through their bank statements and work out what their outgoings would be if the main income is no longer coming in.
“Maybe they have protection on the mortgage already, so this would no longer need to be paid. However, virtually all the other bills will still be coming in and there may be additional costs, for example for childcare if the surviving spouse now has to go to work.”
The right combination
An adviser will look at existing protection policies.
Rowena Griffiths says: “Some clients are fortunate enough to have ‘Death in Service’ benefits and Income Protection at work which ensures their salary is paid in the event of long-term illness. If so, these can be factored in.
“However, those running small businesses, contractors and the self-employed have to provide for themselves.”
It’s also worth carefully checking any protection that’s provided by your employer, to ensure it covers all eventualities. It’s not always comprehensive and you may need more to suit your needs.
Once the adviser has established what protection you might need, they can recommend insurance policies to ensure any outgoings are covered, such as:
They can also help put policies in trust to make sure that the benefits go to the intended beneficiaries.
Craig Palfrey, of financial adviser Penguin Wealth, says: “A comprehensive family protection plan will include advice on wills that may include family settlements, along with lasting power of attorneys.
“It is likely a financial forecast will need to be done to show how your estate will grow, or decrease, depending on the planned future lifestyle, as well as showing what may happen to the value of the estate if care is needed.”
In the meantime, stay happy and healthy.
So that’s protection covered. What about ensuring your legacy is passed on to loved ones in the most tax-efficient way? Take a look at ‘How an adviser helps… preserve your legacy for your loved ones’.