Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Do YOU Have Your Affairs In Order
Do you have your affairs in order. In Australia it's Tax time and it gives you a great opportunity to take a look at not only where you stand financially over the last year but where you would stand if something was to happen to you or your spouse.
At the age of 38 I had the opportunity to walk through 'the valley of the shadow of death'. It was not a brief walk but fortunately for me I was able to return. Although we are still unsure of what the future will hold as far as my health is concerned, I have a totally different perspective on death. At the time, I was very fit , healthy & just had baby number 6. I caught a virus that turned our world upside down. Four years on, several strokes and a daily battle with health issues later,I have of course a very different perspective on life.
Death is no longer a frightening thing. I didn't realise just how thin the veil was. There is no Grim Reaper but Ministering Angels who bring comfort and warmth. Armed with this knowledge we were able to make decisions on things that before I wouldn't even entertained. Like what would happen to the children if we died. Would their be enough money to provide for the little ones until they where of age. Missions, marriages. Letters to tell them things I would want them to know.
Where to Start
Do you have a Living Will
A living will is a voluntary statement outlining the types and conditions of medical care that a person would prefer in a given situation prior to requiring care. A person may also nominate one or a number of substitute decision-makers (Power of Attorney) to make decisions of their own behalf. A living will sets out your wishes in relation to treatment decisions in advance.
Living wills identify
* when, and under what conditions, the agreement or Power of Attorney should take effect
* who is to have responsibility for substitute decision-making and for what decisions
* what cross-consultation is to occur and
* the circumstances when revocation may be possible.
A living will may also cover financial, personal and medical decisions concurrently.
For me, I have strong ideas on what medical care should be made available to me should I be incapacitated. This document is used when you are still alive but not able to make decisions your self. People often overlook this one, but it's just as important.
WHAT IS A WILL?
A Will is a legal statement by which you name the people you want to receive your
property and possessions when you die.
WHY SHOULD EVERYONE MAKE A WILL?
• Making a Will is the surest way anyone has of providing for others after their
death. You may think that you are not wealthy enough. But stop to add up the
value of your house, car, savings, insurance policies - the total is probably more
than you realised.
• A Will is particularly important for anyone with a family or other dependants,
especially if you are a separated or unmarried parent.
• A Will enables you to ensure that the people to whom you give your property
receive it promptly and in a manner which will render your estate liable to no, or relatively little,additional income tax through capital gains tax.Capital gains tax liabilities may be postponed rather than provoked by appropriate provisions in
• A Will enables you to choose your executor, ie the person who will manage and
distribute your property.
• All too often, leaving no Will creates yet another worry for your family at the time of bereavement and disruption at home. Making a Will is a way of making life easier for them.
Life Insurance / Superannuation
With the Financial crisis hitting these two things hard, it might be worth just casting your eyes over your policies to see where you stand now. What may have been adequate before, may have taken a hit and you need to look at additional policies.
I went as far as planning my actual funeral up to a point. Discuss things like burial or cremation. Open casket and viewings. I didn't go too far because in someway I thought that they might like to choose songs that reflect their feelings and plan the goodbye the way they want to.
Before I became sick all this just seemed too overwhelming to think of, but you really never know when your world is going to be turned upside down. You don't want the kids to end up with someone that would make you 'turn over in your grave' or 'over your dead body', because that is just what might happen.
So while you have all your paperwork out doing the tax, take sometime to put these things in order as well. It really brings a peace of mind.