I was listening to Michael Buerk on the Moral Maze which had the very apt title “Danger and Opportunity?”
In the introduction Michael said words to the effect that “many of us are banged up at home writing our wills according to the law Society which is struggling to keep up with demand”
The rest of the programme went to discuss whether the corona crisis is an opportunity for greater collectivism in the future or a danger to liberty, but it was his comments about wills which got me interested.
In the past, many of my clients have said, one of the reasons they like dealing with me is that I stick to the job in hand (advising on pensions and retirement options) and I don’t try and stick my nose into other areas of their financial life.
I took this as a compliment as there are many people trying to sell various financial plans and policies, some of which are bad value and unsuitable and so it is best to stick to what you know best.
But now is the time to start talking to people about things other than pensions. Pensions are very important and there is a lot of advice needed to make sure pension pots and retirement advice are in the best possible shape following the dramatic falls in the stock market.
There are many other financial matters that people need to attend to now and The National Careline, which is part of Better Retirement Group and where I am a director, has published a financial and estate planning checklist so everyone can review their financial priorities.
The National Careline which provides financial information and financial advice to older people is urging everyone to review their financial and estate planning arrangements in light of the increased risks from the coronavirus pandemic.
According to my colleague, Simon Whitehead, CEO of The National Careline, the health consequences of coronavirus are well known but most people at this age will not be aware of the financial consequences if the virus was to impact on them directly.
Even without the threat to life from coronavirus, everybody should make sure they have:
These are sensitive but important matters which is why we encourage the immediate family to get involved especially as they are the ones who will be directly affected if the worst was to happen.
I have helped National Careline write some guides on wills and LPA - read the guides here
I do encourage you to contact me to discuss your overall financial circumstances and if you want to review your will or arrange a lasting power of attorney I will be pleased to help.