The importance of supporting ourselves, as well as our team – making life away from the pitch less stressful

13th February 2024

Supporting a leading rugby team has its fair share of ups and downs – but there are a few things you can put in place to make life away from the stands less stressful.

When you are invested in the outcome, watching a live sports match is as stressful and terrifying as it is exciting and exhilarating. My dad, an avid Northampton Saints fan and season ticket holder for many decades, has a heart condition. At the end of a game, I often wonder how he copes, given that my heart – which is usually fine and is nearly 30 years younger than his – beats either unfeasibly fast, or barely at all, during the latter stages of a crucial match.

We all know that being a Saints fan comes with its fair share of highs – for me, being at Twickenham in 2000 for our European Cup victory – and lows; like the long coach journey back from Cardiff after losing out to Leinster in the 2011 final or, worse still, demotion from the Premiership in 2007. Whilst we can’t control what happens on the pitch, there are lots of other things in life that we can sort out to make sure we sleep better at night.

When I am not at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, or Googling arrythmia, I am also a Solicitor and head of the Private Client team at HCR Hewitsons in Northampton. One of the key services I provide to my clients is estate planning. As Saints fans, we know the importance of preparation and strategy – and the same applies to organising your personal and financial affairs.

The importance of having a professionally drawn, up-to-date will in place cannot be overstated.  Many of us put this off for far too long, despite knowing that it is the best way to ensure that our wishes will be honoured and our loved ones taken care of.

The financial and emotional costs to those left behind when a person dies without making arrangements far outweigh the time and expense of us sorting this out during our lifetimes. Making a will does not need to be a daunting task and, when it is finally ticked off the ‘to do’ list, the peace of mind is priceless.

My dad will tell you that I regularly joke about him staying healthy and living at home for as long as possible so that he doesn’t have to pay for expensive care costs that will deplete my inheritance. In reality, it is no laughing matter and a serious concern for many families. Again, whilst we can no more prevent aging than we can force the ball between the posts when Fin Smith lines up a penalty, we can plan for it and remove some of the worry.

I regularly talk to clients about sensible steps we can take to help protect their assets. This might be putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place so that somebody trusted can make decisions on their behalf if they become too unwell to do so. Or it might be including a trust in their will to help ensure that some of their wealth is ring-fenced for the important people in their lives.

Some of my clients are fortunate enough to be worrying about inheritance tax. Others want to help their children buy properties but are concerned about future sons-or-daughters-in-law getting a share of the money. Many clients now have complex family circumstances and are anxious about balancing the competing needs of different loved ones. Others have the stress of running a businesses and haven’t considered what will happen to it if they die or become too unwell to continue working.

Supporting the Saints has always been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, and life away from rugby is no different.  As we support our team through the twists and turns of the season, I would also be delighted to support you and your families through the process of planning for the future and ensuring that your affairs are in order. As a full-service law firm, we offer a comprehensive range of legal services for individuals and businesses and, with good advice and careful planning, we can help to keep your blood pressure as low as possible before kick-off.  After that, we will be right there enjoying the journey alongside you.

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