The only certainty in life is – Death! Yet, I see a lot of people not really planning for the life of their family, after death. We all know someone in our family or friends who have had to go through a lot of stress due to the sudden demise of the head of the family. We have heard the horrors of trying to piece together life after them. Yet, our attitude is always the same – It cannot happen to me.
I was one of those people as well till I was jolted with the fact of my father passing away, suddenly.
What I have learnt from that experience is simple… PLAN and ORGANISE life today.
A good plan starts out with identifying and listing all the assets and liabilities. A plan has to be thought through to ensure that every single aspect of one’s life is documented – from property, jewelry, investments to simple things like property tax, cooking gas number to personal passwords. A plan should have ALL the information that your immediate family can use when you are gone. Their life will be emotionally jolted; what you can do is ensue that their day to day life is least impacted. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What information can I leave behind that will ensure seamless transition for my family?
- What information of our assets can I make special mention of in the plan?
- What liabilities do I have that my family should be aware of?
- What are all the investments and assets that I have today? What are the maturity dates for them? Is there a way to notify my family when the need arises?
- How safe and secure is my information?
- What audio, video or test messages can I leave for my family which will help them?
How to get Organized?
There are many ways to organize information. Some of the traditional ones are:
- Bank Lockers – They have limited space and there is an effort needed to pen down all other information. The locker is not available 24×7 which can be a challenge if you need to update information.
- Lockers at home – These lockers have limited space as well and typically jewelry takes precedence over papers. Access is only when you are at home.
- Simple Excel sheet – A simple excel sheet helps most of the time. Excel or any spreadsheet works wonderfully well
- Online storage – Online storage options have come up in recent times like google drive or dropbox etc. The level of security is not the highest and needs one to remember yet another password.
The key to getting organized is to take the plan created and find the right solution. The solution has to be safe, secure and comprehensive such that all important information is stored in an easy and accessible way. The solution has to be intuitive and must preempt you to store ALL the information. The solution must be accessible on all devices with the latest encryption.
Planning and Organizing is the key to leaving a lasting legacy! What we can do is to ensure that our family is taken care of, always. Working and saving is just the first step.