Leave your financial affairs in good shape
No one wants to think about the inevitable, however it is important to take some time to think about what might happen to your loved ones if you pass away. Are your finances in order, or will your family face some tough times ahead managing your financial affairs? By leaving your finances in good shape, you can reduce the pain for them when you are gone. Before you put your finances in order discuss your wishes with your family so there are no surprises for them when the time comes. Once you have made your plans let your loved ones know what financial documents you have and where to find them.
Important financial documents
Consider creating, updating or compiling the following documents to get your finances in order:
- Create a list documenting all the assets you own (e.g. property, vehicles, art, heirlooms & antiques etc.) and a separate document with any assets you have in a trust;
- Compile a list of your loans, mortgages or credit card debts;
- Outline any stocks or bonds that you have;
- Record and update your financial service provider, account numbers, policy numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, online banking details etc;
- Update your superannuation and life insurance beneficiaries;
- Write or update your will;
- Consider creating powers of attorney; and
- Include documentation of prepaid or funeral insurance if you have organised it.
Having your finances well-documented and accessible can avoid any potential conflict within your family and help your executor administer your estate efficiently.
To protect your documents, it might be useful to set up a secure electronic data file and a physical hard-copy file and restrict access to a small select group of people. For example, yourself, your life partner, your lawyer/financial advisor and your executor.
By getting your finances organised today, you can live on with peace-of-mind that your loved ones will be financially prepared when the time comes for you to leave this world.