As we fulfil careers, make savings and build pensions, the prospect of our hard work disappearing into the void is not something most of us would want to happen.
Yet an unfortunate reality is that many people are leaving huge parts of their estates to the ether rather than loved ones when they die.
A list of unclaimed estates is available on the www.gov.uk website, with the sum of these estates standing at a huge £137million in 2019 and is estimated to rise exponentially.
Some may be shocked to hear that such sums are sitting unclaimed in probate files, but they may be the same people who have forgotten figures and assets of their own.
The increasing trend of paperless banking, the ease of account switching, more people working abroad and a general belief that people are now worse at keeping financial records are just some of the reasons many Brits have a looser grip on their financial portfolios.
Here are some ways you can make sure your full finances, assets and pensions are available to loved ones:
- Re-trace old bank accounts and pensions that you did not empty upon transferral. There are ‘lost account’ and asset search providers that can assist with this.
- Create detailed files of all bank accounts, pensions and assets, including login details for each of these. Make sure that your beneficiaries have access to these details.
- Update your files whenever you diversify your portfolio.
- Empty and close bank accounts and pensions if you are transferring to a new provider.
Once you have completed a thorough log of your finances and assets, make sure that these changes are reflected in your will to support your beneficiaries. Organising a will if you don’t already have one provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
The next Will Aid campaign will be in November 2021. If you would like to be the first to know when our online solicitor lookup goes live then please register your details for our email reminder.
Solicitors who take part provide the will-writing service for local people and waive their usual fee.
Instead, the makers are invited to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid which is then split between nine of the UK’s best-loved charities - ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland), Sightsavers and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).
For more information, visit www.willaid.org.uk