Pandemic has shown how, in the blink of an eye, things can change. There is no household which was not affected by Pandemic wave 2 directly and indirectly. My sister and her family came covid positive and my sister had to be hospitalized for a week. Lost my paternal uncle to Covid complications. A close friend lost her mom to covid. Another close friend lost her cousin after 3-week of battle.
Year 2021 was indeed a very challenging year for everyone. The bygone year and the havoc created by Covid has brought to the forefront the need for having certain vital elements in place that can help navigate us and our near ones if something happened to us with ease.
The lessons have come a hard way. Give this activity a priority before the year ends. Untimely death/mishaps are not under our control but sorting our financial paperwork to make life easy for our near ones is something which is under our control.
1. Check all your Nominations
When we make investments, the usual practice is to do the investments in our own individual names (single holding) and nominate our parents for various investments, bank accounts. We get married and start a family but forget to change the nominations. We procrastinate too, citing lack of time and how does it matter, parents are there with us.
This year while doing an audit check, I realized in my NPS account and health insurance policy my mom is still the nominee. My Mom died 2 years ago.
It will be a painful time-consuming exercise especially if we have not been organized since start 😊but trust me this is the best year end gift we can give to ourselves and our loved ones. Start with checking Nominations in your Bank accounts including salary account, Fixed deposits, PPF, PF & Pension, NSC, NPS, Insurance, Demat, Bank lockers, real estate.
All this while I thought my mom’s demat account was in joint holding with me. We had never checked the records, especially the client master sheet, which you get as part of welcome kit while opening demat account.
Post her death we thought transferring shares would be easy to my demat as it was with same Bank. On trying to submit transmission request with all documentary proofs, we got to know that it was in single holding and my dad was the nominee. My Dad never had a demat account in his own name. To transfer Mom’s shares, we must open his demat account in single holding. To convince my Octogenarian Dad was a herculean task 😊
In today’s digital world, we have passwords for practically everything right from email accounts, bank accounts, various mobile/desktops applications. We have passwords for even accessing mobile and laptops.
Put all the passwords on paper and share that with your trusted family members. We can search online for password diary too or make our own diary. During my trip to US, I had picked up Password diary from Barnes & Noble’s saving all my password category wise.
During our wealth creation journey, we deal with multiple people for investments and various insurances.
Do we maintain all the data in one place in a spreadsheet or a record book? (You can download the free version of pdf fillable client record book we have especially designed for our clients. You can also place a request for a hard copy of the record book at:https://buff.ly/3oTZYMW).
As I mentioned earlier, in the blink of an eye, things can change. Make a will. It’s never too early to make a will even if you have just started earning. Will can save you a lot of hassles later when you will have to run around for notarized copies, indemnity bond, NOCs.
Do we have a list of all the loans we have taken in one place? Car/Home/Personal loan, details of their EMI’s, terms and conditions in case of the death of the borrower.
How about the list of all the standing instructions we have given for all our bill payments through our credit/debit cards?
6. Location of Documents, Locker key
Do we have a designated place where we keep important documents like Pan card, passport, voter’s id, Aadhar card, locker keys. Are family members aware of the location.
For example, I have this big wall unit where I maintain my personal library and keep all my important files and folders. There is one drawer in that unit where all the important documents proofs are kept. All the family members are aware of this.
We can’t predict future and can’t control the outcomes. But what we can do is ‘Be Prepared’.