3 key considerations to ensure a surviving spouse is looked after

by Alexander Beard, on Jul 19, 2017 5:01:40 AM

It’s only natural if you have a husband, wife or civil partner that you will want to do everything you can to ensure they’re looked after financially in the event of your death. But it’s not as simple as ensuring that they are named as a beneficiary in your will, as if you don’t take a number of potential complications into account, you could inadvertently leave your spouse dealing with financial difficulties during what is already going to be a difficult time. Here are some key aspects to consider to ensure your significant other is taken care of with as few financial worries as possible.

  1. Make sure your will is in order – If you don’t ensure that your assets will pass to your spouse in the way that you want them to, this could create complications and lead to your significant other being left in financial difficulties after your death. If you want assets such as businesses or property to be sold in order to provide for them, this needs to be clearly worded in your will. Do all you can to ensure your will can’t be contested too: relatives and dependents can dispute your will if they feel it doesn’t adequately provide for them, so making sure your will is up to date, fair and accurately worded will help to prevent this from happening.
  2. Deal with as much of your debt as possible – Whoever you name as the executor of your will – likely to be a spouse for most married couples – will be responsible for paying all of your outstanding debts after you’re gone. These include everything from mortgages and credit cards to personal debts owed to family and friends. Leaving as little debt as possible is clearly the best option, as outstanding debts will need to be paid from your estate. In circumstances where you owe more money than the value of your estate, this creates additional complications as creditors need to be paid in a strict order – your spouse may even need to take out a new loan in order to cover the debts you’ve left behind.
  3. Have an open conversation with your spouse – It’s likely to be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s incredibly important to speak with your significant other whilst you can about ensuring their financial security after you’re gone. Having this conversation together with a financial advisor is also highly recommended, as that way any questions you have can be answered straightaway and you can ensure all the necessary paperwork is in order for when the time comes.

These are just a few of the many considerations you should make for the financial security of your spouse. If you have any further questions around this topic, please feel free to get in touch with us directly.

Topics:Financial PlanningSavingsTax