Wright Johnston and Mackenzie Solicitors

Protection for Your Family

How would your family manage if the main breadwinner was unable to work due to death or long-term illness?

A stark question but one which every family should face. Thinking “it won’t happen to me” is naïve, and prudent families plan ahead to ensure it won’t happen.

Protection for your family is simple and easy to put in place. The WJM Wealth Planning team will work with you to determine what your family needs, in terms of protection cover and personal documents like Wills and Powers of Attorney.

The three main forms of protection are:

Life Cover – pays a lump sum or income for a pre-determined term on the death of the life assured (or the first person's death if more than one life is covered). This type of cover is often provided as part of an employment package, but it may expire if you change employment or retire.

Income Protection – pays an ongoing income after a pre-determined term should you be unable to work due to illness or injury. The pre-determined term normally corresponds with the period during which your salary continues to be paid. The income continues until the earlier of your return to work and the cover expiry date agreed at the outset – normally your anticipated retirement age.

Critical Illness cover – like Life Cover, this pays a lump sum or income; however, the benefit is not payable on death but on the diagnosis of certain medical conditions and diseases. It can be set up on a standalone basis but is often arranged in conjunction with Life Cover, although it does tend to be expensive. This form of cover can help you manage at a time of great stress for you and your family.

All too often families insure one partner, forgetting that the other partner needs to be covered too. Even ‘non-working’ spouses need cover – consider for example the additional family household expenses if a housewife or househusband dies or suffers from long-term incapacity.

And don’t forget that you’ll need to make sure that, should the worst happen, your Will – and that of your spouse or civil partner, if applicable - reflect how you want your family cared for.