5 Things Before You Die

5 Things to Do Before You Die: Financial Planning Edition

They say that in a world of uncertainty, preparing for the future can justifiably be called necessary rather than a prudent step. While to the uninitiated and uninformed observer, bucket lists presumably are mainly comprised of dreams of adventures and exploring the globe, there is another list as important but usually not spoken of: your financial planning checklist. After all, you want to leave on your next great adventure and be assured that you have left a legacy of care and protection for your loved ones.

  1. Review Your Insurance Policy It is a safety net that will help your family when the ground suddenly caves in. A good one should comprise policies that include enough life insurance, critical illness insurance, and disability insurance. All of them provide for an untimely death or serious illness to ensure that the family always has the right finances. Just as life changes, so too should the protection. Regular reviews will ensure that the insurance you have in place reflects your life stage, current matters such as when you welcome new family members or acquire a new home.

  2. Place Policies in Trust This is merely securing your insurance payouts against potential legal tangles and fiscal complications. Policies placed under trust make sure that the benefits derive directly to your intended beneficiaries and not encumbered with probate. This not only accelerates the payout process but can also bring fiscal advantages, especially with regard to Inheritance Tax (IHT). It may seem daunting to establish a trust, but with the right advice from financial advisors or legal professionals, it can be a very simple process that results in vast peace of mind.

  3. Update Pension Nominations Pensions form a salient part of your financial legacy, but they are not part of your estate by default. This is the exact reason nominating beneficiaries for your pension is very important. It means that your pension savings should go in the way you wanted them to pass on. Big moments throughout life—marriages, divorces, and births—may all change who one would like them to go to. Regular updating of your nominations to ensure exactly where you intend your pension benefits to go is made.

  4. Maintain a Valid and Updated Will A valid and up-to-date will is the cornerstone of any estate plan. It dictates how your assets are distributed, helping to prevent disputes and ensuring your wishes are honoured. Without a will, your estate may be distributed according to state laws, which might not align with your desires. Regularly reviewing and updating the will allow for changes that occur in life, such as new family members or a phenomenal asset change, and they provide support for your legacy to stay intact as you wish.

  5. Use as Many Tax Allowances as You Can Before the End of the Year A good plan can make much money for your beneficiaries. You can save much of your liability and thereby increase the overall value of your estate that would ultimately be passed on to your heirs by making use of all available exemptions and allowances. An annual review can mean annual gift allowances, annual pension contributions, and tax-efficient investment in the like of ISAs. In doing so, an annual review performed by a financial adviser is able to see these windows and build your estate in the most tax-efficient way.


Death is an event for which it is very macabre to prepare; however, such an effort is one of the greatest gestures of love. These 5 must-do financial planning items ensure both your family’s future financial status and peace of mind. Work with a professional advisor who can help you be guided through these intricacies in planning the financial aspects and make you understand all the available options at the time you’re leaving a heritage of care and security


This article is for information purposes only – should not be perceived as financial advice. We recommend you should always speak to a financial adviser before making any investment decisions. Please note, the Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some of the areas discussed in this article. 

Please note, past performance is not a reliable indicator to future returns. Your investment may fall as well as rise, and you may not get back what you put in.