Life is transient. We always knew this but I guess it has hit hard with the virus doing the rounds. Anyone can catch Covid-19, and while most people recover, one never knows.
We work through our lives so that we earn enough money to live better. So that our children can live better. In the unfortunate situation of us not being around, how will the family cope? Good documentation makes things much easier for everyone in the family. It really helps when the family has clear access to our ‘balance sheet’ so to say.
Many of us have been looking for things to do over the next week, before the lockdown ends. This is as good a time as we will ever get.
What do you own? Whom do you owe? Start with the big things, and progress to create your assets and liabilities list, with all the relevant details.
- House: house deed, sanctioned plan, society share certificate and nomination (if the house is in a society), property tax receipts, property tax payment website, login and password, mortgage/loan papers, house insurance policy
- Vehicle: registration papers, loan papers, vehicle insurance policy, insurance website, login and password
- Business/profession: registration documents, accounts/tax documents, important details such as share in business, salary drawn, creditors/debtors, etc.
- Employment details: office address, contacts, appointment letter with terms of employment, salary slip, salary remittance details, EPF, pension, etc.
- Bank/Post Office account: name of bank, address, customer ID, account number, pass book, cheque book, registered email and mobile number, internet banking website, login and password, debit card, PIN, nomination
- Fixed, recurring, MIS deposits, etc.: where, receipts, passbooks, online access, maturity, nomination
- PPF: where, passbook, maturity, nomination
- NSC, KVP etc.: certificates, maturity, nomination
- Investments – bonds, shares, mutual funds, SIPS, etc.: certificates, DEMAT account details, linked bank accounts, website, login and password, maturity, nomination
- Jewellery/heirloom list
- Locker: where, locker key, locker contents, password, nomination
- Life insurance: physical policy, basic details, website, login and password, nomination
- Medical/accident insurance: physical policy, basic details, website, login and password, nomination
- Money/articles lent out/advances: to whom, contact details, how much, terms of repayment, any mails/ documents
- Credit cards: card, login and password, registered email and mobile number
- Loans taken: from whom, how much, terms of repayment, any mails/ documents
- Utilities – electricity, water, gas, internet, cable, etc.: account numbers, website, login and password for bill payments, registered email and mobile number, helpline numbers, nomination
- Digital access (laptop, desktop, mobile phone, external drive, etc.): login and password, icloud details
- IDs – PAN card, Aadhaar card, Passport, etc: location, photocopy, associated email and mobile number
- Digital locker: website, login and password, associated mobile number
- Email: address, password
- Income tax, TRACES: website, login and password, accountant/auditor details
- Social media accounts, hobby groups: website/app, login and password, legacy settings
- Mobile wallets: app, login and password
- Club memberships: account number, ID cards, online access
- Appliances: bills, guarantee cards, service centre numbers
- Physical keys: to whatever is under lock
- Anything else that I may have missed.
Of course, if there’s a secret that you wish to take with you to the other land, just give it a miss on the list. You may find gaps – for example, you have not registered a nominee, or you have forgotten a password. Attend to these as soon as you get a chance.
Finally, it is never too soon to write your ‘will & testament’. Do it with fairness and justification to yourself and to those around you. And get a couple of witnesses to sign to certify that you’ve done this of your own free will.
Once you’ve done this, it is a good idea to let your family know that they will find everything they need in xxxx place. Peace of mind guaranteed.