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A matter of life and death, yet three quarters don't have a will

Only 35% of people have written a will, and just 31% have taken out life insurance, according to research released this week by the Dying Matters Coalition.

Of all the tricky topics to talk about, death and dying registers pretty high. No-one wants to think about their own mortality. But it is important to make sure you don’t leave it too late to talk to your family about what you would like to happen.

To coincide with Dying Matters Awareness Week; here are some of the topics you should touch on, and why it’s best to act now.

Wills – why now’s the time to write one

Do your nearest and dearest know what you’d like to happen with your money when you die? A will is the only way to be sure of this.

A will means everything you own will be shared out according to your wishes. Without one, what you leave behind will be distibuted as dictated by the law – which may not be how you want it.

Writing a will is particularly important if you have children or want to leave anything to people outside your immediate family.

The research showed only 28% of parents who have children under 18 living with them have written a will. This risks your wishes about who would look after your children, and what happens about inheritance, not being met.

You can also use your will to talk about your burial instructions, such as whether you want to be buried or cremated.

 

Don’t leave out life insurance

Do your children, partner or other relatives rely on your income to cover mortgage costs or other living costs?

If the answer is yes, life insurance is an important policy to consider as it means your dependents get paid out a lump sum or regular payments when you die. However, just 40% of parents who have children under 18 living with them have had a life insurance policy.

Consider your care

Everybody wants to think that they’ll be able to stay healthy and in their own home until their death - but that might not be possible.

It's worth thinking about alternatives for your future care, should it come to it. Only 7% of Brits admitted they had done this.

Having a read through your choices so you know what to expect is a good first step, and means you won’t be surprised later down the line. Our guide on long-term care options gives you an easily digestible look at your choices.

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