Although many of us are efficient in our daily lives and keep meticulous records in our professions, most of us leave inadequate and incomplete records of our economic and personal affairs when we die. Experts recommend creating a comprehensive folder of documents that family members can access in case of an emergency. Here is a checklist of important documents you’ll need to have signed, sealed and delivered.
• Your will. Everyone must make a will even if all assets are in joint names.
• Bank accounts and bank lockers should be in joint names with instruction for operation by any one. Avail the nomination facility.
• Fixed/cumulative deposits with banks/post office with details of maturity date, interest receipt etc.
• PPF book, vehicle papers and insurance.
• Court decisions and pending litigation papers, if any.
• Income tax/wealth tax files with complete record of vital information on taxation.
• Policy files — LIC, GIC, Health/Medical/Fire Accident insurance.
• Pension papers, if superannuated.
• Property files — real estate, flat ownership and property tax papers.
• Deposit receipts for gas/electricity/water/telephone, and rent receipt related correspondence.
• Name of legal advisers and their contact numbers.
• Passport, driving licence, identity cards and photocopies of all the documents.
• Medical history.
• Information on stockholding — either in demat accounts or physical certificates.
• Any other matter of interest to your family.
It is essential that you train your spouse to be able to deal with all the above mentioned matters independently or with the help of relative(s) you trust. After all, sympathy wave on account of death of head of family lasts only till one’s last rites.