Planning for the worst

By admin
07 October 2015

Don’t wait for a cancer diagnosis or serious illness before making provision for your loved ones.

When cancer strikes, legal issues can stress out everyone involved and these concerns are closely linked to financial worries. Consider things like who will be making health-care decisions when you’re no longer able to, and who will be responsible for your children, or managing your money. Be proactive and rather have the difficult conversations now.

STEP 1 – ARE YOU COVERED?

To choose the right kind of cover, always go for the best cover that still fits your budget. Do you have plans in place for the short, medium and long term? This includes, but isn’t limited to, cover for:

• Major injury, e.g. income protection and disability cover.

• Serious illness, e.g. dread disease cover.

• Death, e.g. life cover (whether you have dependents or not)

• Child’s education, e.g. education plan or child savings plan. • Property, e.g. life cover to cover your home loan, should you pass away. • Retirement, e.g. company pension or retirement annuity.

STEP 2 – THE ABC OF PLANNING FOR THE WORST

To see what you need to cover financially and understand what must be included in your legal provision, know your ABC:

A. Ensure you understand your needs and protect these with cover that you can afford under ARE YOU COVERED? above. Get advice from a trusted financial services provider if you need help deciding. B. Add your regular monthly expenses. C. Make provision for something such as a savings plan, a tax-free savings account, an investment like a unit trust or fixed deposit to cover unexpected expenses.

STEP 3 – THINGS TO REMEMBER

Life changes

Amend your cover and nominated beneficiaries as you go through significant life events – getting married, buying a house, starting a family, retiring, and so forth. For example, decisions about the guardianship of your children are crucial. Re-evaluate these choices throughout your lifetime.

Power of attorney

In the event of a cancer diagnosis or serious illness it’s a good idea to nominate a trusted person and give them power of attorney. This means they can represent you or act on your behalf in private, business or legal matters, if you’re unable to do so. Sign the document while you’re able to communicate and think clearly. It will solve legal problems for your loved ones later on.

A will

There are two types: • A living will sets out end-of-life medical care if a patient is unable to communicate. As the name suggests, it has no power after death. • A regular will allows you to document your wishes with regards to matters such as your finances and what happens with your estate. Appoint an executor to carry out your wishes. Think carefully about who you appoint and make sure they understand what you want.

STEP 4 – DON’T DELAY

Get advice Speak to your insurer or your financial advisor and speak to a lawyer, especially if you have property, investments, shares, business interests or other assets. • Free services There are free services available to South Africans, such as Truth About Money – www.truthaboutmoney.co.za – to assist with a will, winding up an estate, and so forth. • Banks Most of the major banks offer trust and fiduciary services and will store your will if you nominate a bank-appointed executor. The legal and financial aspects of cancer are closely related. Read more about the financial considerations.

Have you, or someone close to you, been touched by cancer? Share the story and inspire others, and 1Life might surprise you and a partner with an unforgettable few days in Cape Town. Click here to find out how. #StrongerTogether.

Make sure right now that you and your children have the necessary cover. Click here for information on the All Woman policy from 1Life or SMS “woman” to 42711 and 1Life will call you back.

Disclaimer

The views and experiences expressed by the individuals featured in these personal accounts are in no way intended as an endorsement of any product or service – commercial, retail or otherwise.

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