Employers may wish to consider financial education

Date: Jun 08, 2011

Workplaces may wish to provide basic financial education - including estate planning and making a will - as a service to staff members, one publication suggested.

Citing research from insurer Axa, HR magazine pointed out the reality of a busy working week means that many employees may spend a bit of company time making appointments, paying bills or otherwise searching for financial information.

It suggested that one logical way for companies to address this is to offer accessible financial education to staff, including information on the importance of making a will.

"Workers trust their employer to educate them about pensions, insurance and general financial planning, after losing confidence in the financial services industry and the government," commented Jamie Jenkins, head of strategy and planning at Standard Life.

One UK financial education organisation, the Money Advice Service, works with employers to provide information on borrowing money, insurance, planning for retirement and the importance of making a will.

The Law Society of New South Wales stresses that it is "essential" to make a will and suggests using a lawyer with a specific background in wills and estates.

This, it pointed out, is in your interest as a wills and estates lawyer can ensure your wishes are expressed clearly and your document is valid.

It is particularly important for individuals with spouses, de facto partners, children or other dependents to have a will and your lawyer will be able to advise you on how to adequately provide for these individuals.

A wills and estates lawyer can also provide you with valuable advice on the best way to arrange your affairs and help you choose an executor. In addition, they can offer useful information about tax planning - including any potential capital gains tax liabilities.

It is important to know that you can make amendments to your will at any time. Changes to a will usually coincide with an important life event, including marriage, divorce, separation, the birth of children or the death of a loved one.

The Law Society suggests that a lawyer be consulted for any changes - even minor ones - to ensure your document always reflects your wishes.

Your will is a legal document and should be kept in a safe place - ideally not in your home, in case it is mislaid. Instead, it is advisable to keep a copy of your will for your personal records and leave the original with your lawyer.