While we might be happy to talk about politics and a vast array of personal matters, when it comes to finances, we are unlikely to what to share the details of our life.
Indeed a Fidelity Investments study among retiring couples showed that 43% couldn't correctly identify what their partner earns.
Have you thought however that it is your executors and/or family who will have to identify all your assets when you die?
When such details are kept secret, it can be a difficult and costly process to go through and there is always the potential that a life policy, pension pot or investment may be missed.
I recommend that just as people regularly review and maintain other aspects of their life, a regular 'probate health check' can go a long way to making it easier on those left behind and costing them less in time, search fees and potentially lost assets.
Such a review can include:
- Ensuring an up to date list of all bank accounts and investments;
- Identifying all sources of pension income;
- Details of any life policies;
- Location of key documents such as property deeds, your Will and share certificates;
- Whether there are overseas assets that may require a grant or reseal in a foreign country;
- Review of potential actions to mitigate inheritance tax; and
- Documents relating to a sale of property for which downsizing relief may be claimed for the residential nil rate band.
Even if you don't want to share too many of the details, you should notify your executors and those most likely to initially deal with your affairs where this information is located. You may also consider lodging a summary with your executors or professional advisers.
If you want to discuss further what a probate health check might look like for you or other forms of estate planning, please contact me on 01245 228 108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org