10th March 2022
And just like that…your life suddenly changes…
The importance of financial planning plays a central theme in revived series ‘And Just Like That’ – urging women to take control of their lives and plan ahead.
Protagonist Carrie Bradshaw is left reeling after the sudden death of her husband, but is able to maintain her luxury lifestyle thanks to her partner’s will and rights as his wife.
Although an example of a fictious widow, the message around financial planning for all women stands – whether married, single or co-habiting.
Many couples save discussing financial planning ‘for a rainy day’, more women are choosing not to get married or to remain single. Without putting a plan in place many women put themselves in a precarious situation if there was a sudden life event such as death, illness or loss of job.
Camilla Stowell, Managing Director, Head of Private & Commercial Clients, Coutts, offers top tips to women on financial planning and creating some certainty around their future:
- Plan for your own future: Don’t shy away from decisions which will have a major impact on you or your family, the legacy you want to leave and the causes you want to support. Taking steps now means you’re prepared for the future. Like many successful women, Carrie has her own career, apartment, godchildren, assets and now the assets she’s inherited. Yet, there’s no indication that she has her own will in place – don’t be another Carrie. It’s important to put some time aside now to think about what you want to happen to your assets in the future.
- Understand your rights: the ‘common law marriage’ does not exist and couples that live together do not have the same legal rights as married couples. Yet over a period of time, lives and finances get intertwined. Without the legal protection of marriage it’s more important for co-habiting couples to focus on their financial well-being and plan for the future, especially if there are joint assets, children or businesses involved.
- Talk to your partner while you can: One of the worst things that women can do is not speak to their partner about the decisions they would take if there was a sudden death in the hope they will never having to cross that bridge. Having those difficult conversations now means that at least there is plan in place for the future.
- Get expert advice for your will: There are a multitude of things to consider when preparing a will – and that’s why it’s important to get help from an expert, instead of just going for the cheapest option. This includes decisions around who your estate would pass onto, how and when would it pass and many more. An expert can guide you through these complex decisions and also make sure your will is prepared in a tax efficient way.
- Think beyond your will: Couples also need to make sure their finances are structured in a way that will allow the surviving spouse to maintain the sort of lifestyle they are used to. This could include things like school fees and mortgage payments.
- Don’t forget about protection: Nobody wants to think about why you might need life insurance or critical illness cover. However, taking out the right insurance products means you and your family will have peace of mind, should the worst happen.