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Protecting your loved ones

In 'Protecting your financial future', we outlined how a life insurance policy can provide reassurance that your loved ones will be looked after, and better able to cope financially, if you're no longer there to provide for them. However, there are many other ways you can protect the people that you love.

Here are some of the more common options to consider:

How to reduce your spending

Family health insurance policies differ widely, but may cover:

  • some/all of the cost of surgery as well as minor treatments that you or your loved ones need
  • some/all of the cost of hospital stays
  • appointments with specialists and consultants
  • diagnostic or follow-up tests

Some health insurance policies include provision for other medical support including dental care, eye care, physiotherapy, mental health support and pregnancy or maternity services.

Making a will

Making a will is probably the most important action you can take to make sure your loved ones are protected and cared for in the event of your death.

Your will is a document that lays out what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die. If you don't leave a will, then the law will decide what happens, and this might not be in line with your wishes.

A will is about more than just money. It's also about deciding who should look after children, if you have any, as well as about putting financial arrangements in place for loved ones once they become adults.

Supporting children

You might consider supporting a child or loved one financially by putting savings aside specifically for their education, or to help with university tuition fees. You could also give children a head start by saving towards their future retirement.

As with all savings, the earlier you start, the larger the savings pot will be when it is needed, and the more interest (and compound interest) you will have earned on the sum invested.

Caring for other loved ones

We are living longer, as a result of better healthcare and higher living standards throughout the world. One consequence is that more people are taking on the role of caring for an elderly parent or other relative.

How you care for relatives, and the role that you play, is a matter of personal choice. However, caring for an ageing relative can require specialist help and support, and may require you to stop work, or reduce your working hours.

Power of attorney

This is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to manage your bank accounts and financial affairs on your behalf.

You may want to suggest that your partner, parents or grandparents think about setting one up. As people get older, this can be a sensible precaution to take as it means you could help them with their finances if they were to get dementia, suffer memory loss, or become hospitalised.

However, this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before giving anyone power of attorney, you should consider getting professional help or legal advice.

Learn more about protecting your loved ones in the event of the unexpected

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