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Heaven can wait

Blue and orange sunset sky

Recently I heard someone say: “everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die”. It’s a beautiful piece of irony, and its truth is unquestionable – everyone fears death.

No one wants to even use the “D” word, particularly about themselves and their families.


And what a bunch of clever fellows those “life” insurance companies are. Would they sell as many policies as they do if it was called “death insurance”? Think about it.

Our mortality is such a taboo topic that it impacts the way in which many people approach their Wills and Estate Planning. We prefer to bury our heads in the sand and hope the issue never comes up. Well I’m here to tell ya folks that it’s a certainty at some stage, whether it’s sooner or later. No escaping it.

I suspect that the sensitivity around this conversation is a reason our accountants and financial planners aren’t really talking to us about Estate Planning. Whilst they may tick the box when providing recommendations regarding our financial affairs, there are few who feel comfortable having a frank conversation about how we protect that wealth when we are no longer around.

So how do we start talking about death, without the awkwardness that often comes with it?

First of all, the conversation isn’t about death or mortality. It’s a discussion about the things that are most important to us such as our family, kids, business and wealth.  It’s a constructive, strategic conversation about putting a plan in place to protect people and assets, and secure the best possible outcomes for the future.

It’s about mitigating the risk of our assets not reaching the right people at a time when they need it the most, and minimising the tax payable in the process.

Advisers who know our circumstances and are looking out for our best interests should be conditioning us to think more positively about Estate Planning. It may be one conversation or it may be many… but it’s too important to ignore – and maybe it would help to throw in a reference to heaven.

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