Almost all of us prepare a wish list before we die. However, in this wish list, we often skip the list of essential things we should do before we die. This list might not bring us pleasure or excitement, but will surely bring peace of mind and support to our family in our absence. Here is a list of
10 to do’s before you die
1. Where there is a will there is a way
Where there is no will, there is a hill.
Write your will and keep it updated. Let your family know where to find the updated copy or let them have the contact details of the lawyer who helped you prepare it. Do this as to help your family avoid legal problems in the future.
2. So many assets so little record
You probably have investments across mutual funds, life insurance, stocks and fixed deposits among other avenues. Detail these investments in a single place and update it regularly. Keep your family updated on where they can find the list. This way your family need not run from pillar to post to find out where you have invested the money when it’s time to claim it.
3. All the way to the bank
Also prepare a list of all money you have lying in various bank accounts. Preferably add a family member as a joint account holder. This way your family knows about money which they will need when you are gone and they can operate the account independently.
4. It’s a matter of life
You have done the prudent thing by taking life insurance; now make sure your family knows the details. Keep a record of all policies in one place along with all relevant details like insurer name, financial advisor/agent who sold it to you, sum assured, rider details, beneficiary list. This way it will be a lot easier for your beneficiaries to ensure the death benefit is paid out.
5. Time to call your employer
It’s always a good idea to keep your family updated about your employment details. This means giving them a number of a reliable colleague in operations or HR who they can call in an emergency. Also if you have an outstanding loan from the office, your family should know since they will have to pay it off in your absence, or if your contract mentioned any vacation pay or bonuses that they may have to collect when you are gone.
6. Loans to be paid off
If you have taken a loan from a bank/institution or an individual it’s only right to keep your family posted about the same with relevant details. Particularly if you have an outstanding loan like a home loan for instance that is covered by a term plan. This way your family knows how to settle the loan without too many worries.
7. Death is an emergency
So you must plan for it, in a financial sense. No matter how well prepared you are to meet any eventuality it helps if your family has a little extra income when you are gone. So aim at building a small corpus or emergency fund that they can encash on your death. Make sure they have all the details of the fund.
8. Businesses and friends
Keep an updated list of all your business associates and friends with contact details. The business list is for the purpose of settling unfinished business related to contracts or debts or recoveries, while the friends list is to keep them updated about your death.
9. The love that gives
A lot of parents gift something precious like a watch or pen or a piece of jewelry to their children. This is expected to serve as a memento of all the good times that were had by the family. You can do something similar except instead of a physical object, gift them an investment that your children or spouse can use in your absence for something meaningful. So invest in a mutual fund or a savings and investment plan and make your child the beneficiary. This money will prove useful to him/her at a later stage, maybe in the pursuit of education or in marriage.
10. A complete summary in one place
All details of important contact persons (lawyers, financial advisors, business associates), money, assets should be collated in one file. This is the reference file your family will need urgently when you are not there.
While it’s natural to ignore many of these points since no one really thinks of death, much less the financial consequences to your family. But as a responsible person, it’s the least that you can do for your family to ensure that the grief of your loss is not multiplied manifold with the financial strain created by your absence.
Source : Deccan Chronicle.