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A checklist to prepare your financial affairs for the inevitable

Prepare a ‘ready to depart’ file with all the necessary documentation and information needed in the event of your passing.
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Natural or unexpected, your death can place a massive administrative burden on your loved ones long after you have passed if you do not have your financial affairs in order.

Having a ‘ready to depart’ file with all the necessary documentation and information needed in the event of your passing will assist your family with access to your will, living will, passwords and title deeds for example – having all of these documents in a single file or folder allows for ease of reference and access during what is probably an extremely emotional and stressful time for them.

In the event of an emergency or death the following documents are crucial to include in your personal ‘ready to depart’ file, which can be kept in a safe or filed with your lawyer for safe keeping while you are alive:

  1. The contact details of your lawyer, insurance broker, financial advisers, doctors and tax consultants all of whom need to be notified when you pass away
  2. A copy of your will and your living will (communicating your desire not to be kept on life support)
  3. Medical information and history for yourself and other dependent family members
  4. Unabridged birth certificates for each member of the family
  5. Your ID book or card and Driver’s license
  6. Your Marriage certificate
  7. Should you have one, a copy of your ante nuptial contract
  8. In the case of being divorced, copies of any divorce and maintenance agreements
  9. In the event that you are widowed, certified copy of your late partners’ death certificate as well as information of the executor who attended to the deceased estate of your deceased partner
  10. The most updated tax assessment for both yourself and your partner
  11. Passwords or pins for phones, computers and bank accounts, encrypted using an app like LastPass to keep them safe.
  12. Bank details – cheque, credit card, vehicle finance, bond and call accounts
  13. A list of debit orders that go off every month, when they go off and how much they usually are
  14. Your current employer details and employee number
  15. A comprehensive list of insurance, pension funds, trusts and investments
  16. Copies of insurance and funeral policies as well as contact information to reach the insurance company
  17. Copies of lease agreements between you and a lessee
  18. Copies of house and car insurance policies
  19. Medical aid and gap cover policies
  20. Copies of updated utility documents
  21. Firearm details
  22. Car ownership documentation
  23. Title deeds of all your properties (if you have a bond over the property, the title deed should be with the bank)
  24. Various documents if you own a business or shares of a company, such as partnership agreements
  25. Letters for desired funeral arrangements

While extensive, this list is not entirely comprehensive as no two individuals are alike or have the same policies and as such it is important to start the conversation with a financial adviser or legal professional to make sure your personal “ready to depart” file is regularly updated before you pass away.

Christel Botha, Fiduciary Services Manager at Alexander Forbes

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COMMENTS   9

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Don’t forget your illegitimate children and their mothers that no one knows anything about. Include DNA proof from three laboratories and a video recording of yourself admitting paternity. Trust me, this will keep you thoroughly entertained in your grave for years!

I trust you. How is the afterlife 😉

Arrrr,,,The answer lies in the soil!?

This is a precursor from a website that promotes- life insurance, dreaded disease insurance, disability insurance, funeral insurance, medical insurance, pet insurance, home owners insurance, contents insurance, car insurance. What’s next DIVORCE INSURANCE??? Wonder where all your savings go?? Dr. Debt

Good idea!

I’ve also collected all this stuff into a single Xcel spreadsheet, and into which I’ve embedded pdf images of all these personal documents as well,and references of the locations etc of where to find the originals.

And review and update the spreadsheet at every birthday. Encouraged my kids to do same.

Keeping all this information in one place is a very bad idea. The ability of someone stealing it and using this information against you… well… big risks.

I would only keeps what is required for your dependents at the lawyers and already plan a strategy of continuity via legal frameworks as in a trusts etc.

I can only imagine how much you will loose in the case that someone steals this excel file…

Agreed this is a very important file that needs high-security safe-guarding. But is easy to password-protect these files, or take other sensible precautions, like store sole copy on encrypted USB drive at a secure location. Your choice. Just do it!

The biggest problem an executor faces, is being SURE he has got ALL your info. AND can understand it and unlock it, when you are no longer there to explain stuff.

This all-in-one-place Xcel file solves that issue.

Life on this planet. Up to 1800 AD, not complicated. No list needed. In good priest books did the trick of free heaven entree, promised by them. The French revolution opened doors spoiling that fun. Resulting in times of hope, that, after passing away, someone on this planet is taking care. By telling truth how you got it, lawfully, again all law and rules.

End of comments.

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