Okay, I know that this isn’t the most uplifting title to a blog post but I feel it is an important one. I have experienced a number of situations myself where sadly clients have passed away and due to a lack of organization it has been incredibly difficult to help their loved ones organize their estate after their passing.
A "death folder" is a physical or digital folder that an individual or family keeps that contains important information that will be needed in the event that someone dies. The folder, which is sometimes referred to as a "death folder" or "when I'm dead" folder, serves an important but often overlooked role in estate planning.
The difference between having your files organized or not is about more than just stress; leave behind a mess and it can delay the probate process too.
The vast majority of us have people that we either care a lot about, are taking care of, or both. In such cases, what we do with our affairs and how we get things organized can help those people in the event we unexpectedly pass. Of course, in the long run, this isn’t unexpected but a certainty.
Your Will -Instead of leaving distribution to other people or rules you may or may not agree to, probably the most important thing is your Will and where it is located. You can also direct your benefciaries to the contact details of the executors of your Will.
Insurance Policies -In the event of death, life insurance proceeds could be there to help out specifically designated beneficiaries. It’s a good idea to keep insurance information handy to facilitate the proper handling of such matters during a difficult time.
Pension policies – Are your beneficiaries entitled to your pension? Leave behind statements with policy numbers and contact details so that they may organize any payments due quickly and efficiently.
Contact details of relevant persons –Include contact numbers of important contacts such as your lawyer/solictor, the executors of your Will and your financial adviser. These people are also likely to hold important records.
Possessions – Do you have any family air looms or valuable items anywhere such as jewelry, either within your property or in a safety deposit box. Make a note of where these items can be found.
Funeral arrangements – If you have made any prior arrangements notify your loved ones where these may be found so they may carry out your wishes.
Bank account details – Leave details on all bank accounts you hold, including account numbers and sort codes etc. If you have any other policies with the post office, ISA’s or premium bonds it is a good idea to include these as well.
Investments – Any important paperwork providing information on investments should be filed. If your financial adviser holds these, again provide them with their contact details.
Any important documents such as your passport, birth certificate and marriage certificate should be kept together so they may be easly found.
Computer passwords – It may be necessary for your loved ones to access information held on your computer. To save time and hassle let them know your login and password details.
If you are a parent it is even more important. Taking care of the necessary documents is a hallmark of good parenting, More than any kind of monetary legacy, if you really love them, you’d do this.
Let your loved ones know where to find your file and you will be safe in the knowledge that everything can be taken care of and avoid any undue stress