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If you’re lucky enough to still have one or both of your parents around, this is an important read.
As we journey through life, our roles evolve. During certain periods, we may find we focus more on being a parent, a partner, a friend, or a business owner (to name a few) than being a son or daughter.
I wear many hats – I’m a father, a partner, a brother, and more. However, as I grow older and my attention is primarily directed towards my own family and responsibilities, I tend to think less about my role as a son.
Part of this shift is because, once my sister and I started families, my dad embraced his role as a grandparent with passion and dedication and it’s heart-warming to see him interact with our children.
Another reason I think less about being a son is because my mother passed away many years ago.
The financial burden of passing
My mum’s passing meant that, in 2012, we had to navigate the many challenging finance-related tasks that arise after someone dies. While my father has always been meticulous with his finances, it was still a gruelling process and, I must admit, I didn’t do a great job.
It did, however, teach me a lot. One of the key lessons is that no one truly comprehends the effort, emotion, and time involved in handling essential administrative tasks after a loved one’s death. It’s a complicated, often unnoticed burden.
Now, nearly 12 years later, I take comfort in the fact that my dad, with the support of his financial planner, has remained on top of his financial affairs.
Given this is such a difficult space, I’m exceptionally proud of the financial planning support our Rising Tide team has already provided to so many people. We strive to ensure our clients’ financial affairs are well-organised, making things easier for their loved ones when they pass.
We understand not everyone’s parents may be in the same financial position or that some may not be open to financial advice. However, one universal truth is that everyone believes in the inevitability of mortality.
With that in mind, here are five essential tasks you should encourage your parent(s) to complete before the end of the year.
- Set up their myGov account and store login details securely.
- Ensure they have organised their wills, power of attorneys, and a testamentary trust.
- Review and update their superannuation and life insurance beneficiary nominations.
- Create a comprehensive spreadsheet with all their financial account details, numbers, and institutions, and grant access to their financial power of attorney.
- Sit down with them and have a thorough conversation about the above, ensuring you understand their wishes and intentions.
These actions may seem like a lot of hard work, and they can stir up deep emotions – but don’t let them slide. The peace of mind and empowerment it will bring to your parents, as well as the assistance it will provide you down the road, will make it all worthwhile.
Once these tasks are done, it could be a great time to show your appreciation by gifting them – or sharing with them – a bottle of fine wine or a special dinner.
P.S. A great place to store copies of your important documents (and your parents, if you like) is in our wealth portal.