Finances contribute to almost every aspect of our lives, so ensuring they are managed efficiently and effectively is paramount. This is particularly important as we get older.
When you retire from the workforce, you typically no longer have the earning capacity associated with your youth. Therefore, you should do all you can to maximise your finances, offering freedom and peace of mind.
During your retirement, there are several things that you can do to stay on top of your finances. In this article, Bowsers Solicitors’ Private Client team explores some in detail to help you get a head start.
1. Make a Will
Anyone over 18 can and should make a Will. Your Will can ensure you leave your money and possessions to your loved ones.
Before speaking to a legal professional about drawing up your Will, there are a few things to consider to ensure that you are well-prepared for the initial appointment:
- Collate information about your estate, including any outstanding debts, assets including property, savings, pensions, life insurance, investments and other possessions.
- Consider who you would like to benefit from your estate (who your beneficiaries will be) and roughly what you would like them to receive.
- Consider who you would like to be responsible for ensuring your Will is followed when you are gone (your executor[s]). This will typically be someone close to you; however, it is possible to appoint a solicitor if you prefer.
Following this, you should meet with your chosen solicitor to draw up the Will document. Your lawyer will be able to ensure that the process is followed correctly, is legally binding, and prevents, where possible, the possibility of the Will being contested when you are gone.
Finally, once your Will has been drafted and you are satisfied with its contents, you should have it legally witnessed and signed by two adults over the age of 18.
It is sensible to store your Will with a bank, registry office, specialised Will storage company or the legal professional who assisted you in writing it.
2. Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) in 2007. Although the format has now changed, any EPAs created before then remain valid and can be used. However, it is recommended that the document be checked to ensure that the information is up to date.
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows a person to make decisions on your behalf where you are no longer able to. There are two types of LPA, which can cover financial affairs and healthcare decisions. An LPA comes into effect if you lose mental capacity.
3. State Benefit Entitlement
The current State Pension age in the UK is 66. If you are of this age, you are entitled to several benefits, including:
- Attendance Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Council Tax Reduction
- Senior Citizen Discounts
4. Life Insurance
In later life, it is customary to become concerned about how your loved ones may cover the costs of your funeral when you are gone or other bills that are often associated with death. Life insurance helps to protect the people you love when you are no longer with them, making it easier to manage key expenses such as the cost of your funeral.
5. Financial Goals
Throughout life, budgeting is an incredibly beneficial tool in ensuring you make the most of your finances and stretch the pennies to go further.
This does not necessarily mean speaking to a financial advisor or accountant, but instead making yourself aware of your typical incomings and outgoings and adjusting your spending accordingly.
Solicitor to assist Elderly Clients Cambridgeshire
At Bowsers Solicitors, our Private Client solicitors support clients in a range of age groups, from those buying their first property and making their first Will to older clients planning for their later life.
Our friendly team would be more than happy to assist you in drafting your essential legal documents. Please call 01945 583194 (Wisbech) or 01354 652606 (March). Alternatively, email email@example.com or fill in this contact form.