Having been in a semi-final of a major tournament for the first time in more than fifty years, the England football team and its fans will certainly remember Euro 2020.
However, there’s more than one reason why the competition may stick in some people’s minds. In one of the earlier games, between Finland and Denmark, a devastating incident showed that we can never, ever know what’s waiting for us around the corner.
Outwardly healthy, mega-fit 29 year-old Christian Eriksen collapsed and clinically died on the pitch before being revived by medical professionals at the scene. The images of Eriksen’s wife understandably distraught at the side of the pitch were heart-breaking to watch.
Thankfully, the day didn’t end in tragedy. Eriksen was conscious as he left the pitch and headed for hospital to find out why he’d suffered a cardiac arrest, despite being a young man with a good diet and who enjoyed plenty of exercise.
Eriksen is a multi-millionaire, which would likely have afforded his wife all she would have needed to bring up their young son alone if medics hadn’t been able to bring him back. But imagine if he’d been the man on the street, the average male…how many 29-year-olds with a young family have the time or inclination to make a will and/or ensure their loved ones have appropriate financial provision if they were the one to suffer a cardiac arrest out of nowhere? It can happen to anyone—we’ve seen in Eriksen’s case how even the most healthy and privileged are not immune to catastrophe.
If you were to die, could your partner/spouse continue to work whilst also raising your children? Would they be able to manage without extra financial support? If you were both involved in the same car accident, for example, do you have measures in place to ensure the state won’t be your children’s carer? Perhaps you’ve remarried and have a second family, or your partner has children from a previous relationship that you care for on a day-to-day basis—without a will, strict legal procedures will make the decision as to the apportioning of your estate, the care of your children/stepchildren, and what happens to your home and who can remain in it. No one likes to think about their death, but the fallout after a sudden/unexpected passing is horrendous enough for their loved ones, without legal and financial worries to contend with, too.
If you think that only wealthy footballers have the assets to make a will, you’d be wrong. The equity in your house, however small, is an asset, as well as any savings in the bank. As is your workplace pension, your car, your sports equipment, your technology…even your business if you’re self-employed. Assets aside, a will can provide evidence of your wishes when it comes to who should benefit from your estate, who will ensure your wishes are carried out in the event of your death, the care of your children until they’re adults—even how your funeral will play out. The need for such forward-thinking is fluid, too; if you marry, separate or start a new relationship, if you expand your family, if you buy a house, or after any other life-changing event, you should update your will and revisit the financial provision you’ve put in place to ensure everything is still appropriate and adequate.
Ruth Wilson is a member of the Society of Will Writers. She can help you achieve true peace of mind; contact her for an informal chat on 01226 107111 / 07790 892524.