Preparing to die. A list necessary to help guide those left behind in sorting out the horror that's not worth more time than it should take, to help start your grieving process, or the ones left behind to handle it.
Today I share heart-ached, but also hope this will help family, friends, clients and more to have the necessary information on hand for when you, or a loved one passes away, morbid right? But no one likes to actually think about it, doesn't think it'll happen anytime soon... reality is it will eventually, just have it prepared. 4 months ago I lost my mother, my best friend, an incredible grandmother... these words, "titles" are not fitting enough and I will never find the correct words to describe what she was to me or my family! The heart ache that followed and still sits within my chest and soul every day is indescribable!!
What no one really discusses is the part where you have to deal with funeral arrangements or memorials, paperwork, accounts, policies, attorney's - whether you pay someone to do it or not, its extremely time consuming and if you're left with no clues on where to start, no documents or final wishes to go with, it can literally rip you up... consume you and then, then reality hits and you find yourself hitting a true mourning process. - one I'm not quite even ready to put into words.
BUT, I am going to share a very detailed list of what you as a person should have in a file accessible to someone you trust to know exactly what is what. If you have parents still with you, grandparents... aunts, uncles etc, this list can assist many people to have their affairs in order and set aside with peace of mind for something we never want to really think about.
This is bitter sweet for me, no sweetness actually... and its taken me a long time to share so publically what I think would help others and I hope it does. For those that have asked me before, I'm sorry its taken this long... if I have forgotten something I will update
Life file list
- where do you keep your ID book/Drivers/Passport etc
Emergency contact people
(Names, Relationship, number, email)
- where is the original will stored - provide a copy of the will
- executor details
(be sure to have an updated will that it specific and includes your wishes)
Living will details - if you should have one
Are you an Organ donor?
Guardianship of your children - also to include in your will
- their ID's / Birth certificates (and unabridged)
- originals or copies / where originals are
- vaccination cards
- schooling decisions
- education policy?
- school report cards
- church/memorial/funeral etc
- if you attend a church/place of worship, do you wish to have your funeral/memorial there?
- contact list of those who you would wish to attend
- any specific wishes for the day?
- or if you'd wish for nothing of the sort
- funeral policies
- any policy you have, list policy numbers, organisations they're with and have a copy of your agreement
- update beneficiaries and be clear on your policies, if no beneficiary is chosen it goes into the estate
Income Tax number
Copy of latest IRP5
All institutions you have a bank account with
- account number and all relevant info
- savings accounts
Insurance details on all - car/house/phones etc
Contracts and Accounts
- clothing accounts
- cell phone
- car payments
- credit cards
- rates and taxes
etc etc etc
Ownership documents / Lease agreements etc
Details of properties
- deeds - where is the original?
- bond number
Domestic employee details
Online presence after death
- choose whether or not you would like Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc to keep running or for it to be closed
I can't stress this one enough...
passwords for everything!! - keep in mind to update this list yearly atleast
cell phone pin and puk - security password to if you have one
emails - gmail / hotmail / yahoo etc
personal computer files
anything and everything you have that has a login and password...
ones you may not think of that need to be cancelled with your credit card details on:
any online shopping sites etc
Copies of the following documents to keep with all the above info:
- details of company/ employee
- contracts and agreements
- Bond agreements / Deed
- TV licence / Accounts to be closed upon death
- phone account
- city of Johannesburg account - making sure to have the pin/account number clear and visible
- rates and taxes
- latest bank statement
- insurance contracts / policies
- vehicle info
- marriage/divorce certificate
- ID copies
write letters to your family, short or long winded, share a memory, be soppy or not... this will be appreciated far beyond anything you'll imagine.
-where can they be found
-is there anything specific for anyone specific (mention in will)
Any other info you think is important... this is not that time consuming to do and it will save someone, a loved one an enormous amount of pain and scrambling if you have it prepared.
Thank you all for your love and support!!
"I miss you!!... I cried when you passed away, I still cry today! Although I love you dearly, I couldn't make you stay. Your golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest, God broke my heart to prove to me, he only takes the best!"
Cancer. How I hate you.