The 6 most common regrets after death

As professional executors, we often have to become involved in very sensitive situations. Our clients trust us with a huge amount of private information, not only financial but also emotional. We are always there to listen, show sympathy and discuss the steps for moving forward.

Over the years we have seen thousands of bereaved clients: we have observed family turmoil, investment concerns and issues relating to property and land, which come up time and again. We see all sorts of regrets from those mourning the passing of loved ones. Here is a list of some of the most common regrets we have observed:

  1. Not registering the family home. We cannot stress enough how problematic it can be if you lose your deeds and cannot prove how the land is held. It is much easier getting these matters sorted before death.
  2. Not making a Will. Intestacy can cause all sorts of problems for families, including delays, unfair distributions, and a concern that the deceased did not leave their estate as they truly wished.
  3. Not updating the Will. It is one thing to omit to make a Will: but what is more, many clients of ours failed to update their Wills after changes in circumstances (divorce, death of a child, change of financial situation). The effect of relying on an old Will in an ever-changing world can be disastrous for those left behind.
  4. Not making amends. We see many “broken families” or instances where contact has been lost between members. Quite often, we have seen clients who regret that they did not do more to reconcile while they still could.
  5. Not taking out insurance. A good policy could cover the funeral, the needs of your partner or wider family, and many eventualities for the probate process which might crop up, such as inheritance tax.
  6. Taking that holiday. Several clients of ours admit that they would rather not receive their inheritance: they would rather their departed loved one had, for example, gone to Turkey after all, had booked that cruise, or had enjoyed their autumn years more. There is more to life, after all, than money.

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