‘The Black Box’01 November 2017
Many think that financial planning is all about products, the sales of, the funding of, and the outcome of. To a lesser extent it is; however, good financial planning is about a holistic approach to all things money-related. And you are likely to be aware that asset values are not just those that appear on a pension/investment statement, but can also be property, chattels and the like.
Keeping track of these whilst you're around and have capacity is usually not that hard. Most know what's going on in their world of wealth, but that can be where the problems start.The accumulation of assets over a lifetime is usually a journey that is travelled, and this can often be alone. A spouse may not be interested in the household budget because they've got you for that, and children and other relatives may well not be aware of what you have because they were not there to share the journey.
Good financial housekeeping could include making a will, which we invariably advocate, along with Power of Attorney arrangements for those over the age of 60.
But where do you keep these documents? And apart from you, who knows where they are kept? And is this safe and fire / water proof in case of mishap?And does someone trustworthy other than your spouse know, such as a mature child or other relative?
In the event of death or incapacity, someone will need to act for you in dealing with your affairs, either to meet long term care costs as an example, or applying for probate. And leaving an up to date record for someone you trust to have a clear vision of your financial world is well worthwhile. It will probably save time, trouble and possibly even further heartache at a difficult time.
Think carefully about this and consider a small safe secured firmly to the wall/floor and out of the way, or a metal box (any colour is fine!) or the like tucked away to hold your documents safely and located in a position where your loved ones know to visit if circumstances need. I sometimes call this my 'flight recorder' to detail everything about my own journey. Some banks now offer safety deposit boxes which might be an idea.
I am sure you can decide how to achieve this and get some help from a trusted person. However, ensure someone knows where the code/key is…they will be able to help when the time comes.
We are all individuals and no individual advice is provided during the course of this blog. Talk to the team at Chapters Financial to see how we can help with your financial planning.
Keith Churchouse FPFS
CFP Chartered FCSI
Chartered Financial Planner
Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 402899