Are you keeping hidden assets squirrelled away from your partner?

Year Published: 2011

In a recent report Prudential indicated that 15% of us over the age of 40, living with a partner, keep some or all of their savings hidden from their other halves.

Whilst the survey looks at attitudes to holding onto secret savings and not disclosing to a spouse or partner, it is worth bearing in mind that keeping funds hidden may not necessarily be helpful to those close to you in the event of your death.   

During your lifetime it is also important to consider how best to maximise income and savings. Equally, consulting a lawyer to review your will and provide them with a list of your assets will go some way to relieving the burden to your close family members or executors of investigating your finances when you are no longer around.

If you have ever agreed to be an executor of a relative  you may find that for the next few months following their death, your evenings and weekends will be taken up trawling through boxes of old newspapers, bags of old bank statements and payslips which may go back in history as long as the war. If records are not easy to find you may have the difficult task of ensuring that all investigations have been made to track down assets and any gifts the deceased may have made, so that you can ensure everything has been fully reported to the Inland Revenue.

In many cases, executors breathe a sigh of relief after the affairs are sorted and it regularly prompts them to get their affairs in order and have a good sort out of their own papers.  

The best way to do this is to keep on top of the junk mail, the monthly bank statements and other official papers which flow through the letterbox, which is time-consuming but spending a little time sorting things out regularly does go a long way to saving  time and in many cases,  expense.  

Don’t be tempted to hide your assets away altogether or pile up all the paperwork – someone will have to deal with searching for them or through them one day. Try and keep on top of it – your executors will be extremely grateful!

For more information regarding estate administration, please contact Helen Gowin in our Private Client team on 01260 282351.

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