The Paperwork You Should Have Prepared In The Event Of Your Passing
Compiling a “red file” may alleviate the burden and stress of your loved ones once you have passed. This file will contain essential information that can be used to settle estate or administer a person’s estate.
The following documents should be included in a “red file”:
- A copy of your will and your living will with instructions on where the original is. Make sure that the appointed executor’s contact details are included (In the event that you are injured and can no longer take control of your life as a result, you may include a “Living Will” which provides instructions on affairs such as your choice of medical treatment and family living arrangements).
- Any funeral policies. Make sure that the policy numbers and the company’s contact details are provided.
- copy of your identity document with instructions on where to find the original.
- A copy of your driver’s licence with instructions on where to find the original.
- A copy of your marriage certificate or divorce certificate and maintenance agreement with instructions where to find the original/s.
- A copy of your antenuptial contract, if you have one.
- Your next of kin’s contact details.
- Your unabridged birth certificate.
- Ensure to include the contact details of your attorney, insurance broker, financial advisor, doctor and tax consultant, all of whom must be notified once you pass.
- Your medical information and history.
The following financial documents should also be included in a “red file”:
- Any house and car insurance policies, medical aid and gap cover policies, funeral policies, pensions funds, trusts and investments. Make sure that the policy numbers and the company’s contact details are included.
- A recent tax assessment for yourself and your spouse.
- Details of your bank account/s.
- A list and details of other accounts that are to be closed.
- Vehicle registration papers.
- Copies of lease agreements, if any.
- Title deed/s.
The following documents are to be included in a “red file” in order to close off your “digital life”:
- Your cell phone and/or computer password.
- Any information on your phone/computer that you would want saved or deleted.
- Usernames and passwords to any social media accounts, and any instructions on how to close them.
- A list of any other devices where action is to be taken.
The following personal documents are to be included in a “red file”:
- A list of contact numbers of everyone who needs to be contacted after your passing.
- Any instructions for the immediate care of minor children.
- Any instructions for pets that are in your household.
- Details of any particular funeral planning or practices.
- Where any important possessions or family heirlooms can be found.
Once you have compiled your “red file”, those documents must be kept in hard copy or saved in a folder on your computer or stored online such as Google Drive or Dropbox. It is recommended that your “red file” be kept by making use of all the options available. The final step is to share the information with a person that you trust.