POSTED BY January 6, 2011 COMMENTS (91)ON
How many different types of information, do you have stored in your head, relating to your financial life? Your PAN? Your policy details and where they are stored? That fixed deposit, which you opened up some years back? Maybe, you’ve kept the documents in the top cabinet of the red almirah, but no one has any clue about it! And if someday, God forbid, you die suddenly, and your family needs information in a hurry, where do they look? Where do they go? Yeah, eventually, they will figure it all out, but only after a whole lot of time wasted (weeks, months, even a year!) and a lot of heartburn! Why not create a better situation for them ?
How about spending a few hours to make an emergency kit which has all the info, they might need at any point of time, so that they don’t have to get frustrated every time, they figure each investment / insurance policy, home legacy? Isn’t that a great idea? Here’s an example. Just to find out how to get the insurance claim settled, they have to start from scratch. They will start enquiring with others, search the internet (if they know how), and various other means. They might not have a clue that whom to contact and what options they have. Won’t it be the better, if they can find everything directly from you? TODAY? The kit is a kind of ready-to-use first aid box, only it relates to your overall financial life. Handy dandy for your family, if you’re disabled or immobilized or… dead! What normally, would take many months for them to find out – by playing connect the dots – can be given to them before hand, ready made & beautifully packaged! 🙂 This might seem embarrassing to many, but bluntly out, you choose!. Minor shyness / embarrassment now, or huge problems & inconveniences to your family later. Note that this whole emergency kit making will not help you today much, but a lot to your family at some later stage, read this article
Following is the sample of how you can store that information in a tabular form.
If your spouse and parents are financially literate and are from this generation who surf internet, know how to find out information somehow, you won’t fully appreciate the beauty of this whole exercise. I’ll bet my hat however, that that isn’t the case :). Most of the spouse do not take much interest in these financial matters . Ergo, you can see, how important this document can be for your family! This can turn out to be one of the best gifts you ever make them.
Ideally, you should make your spouse aware of this. However many wives/parents don’t want to hear about death and deliberately don’t pay attention. This document is especially for those situation. We must print it out and give one copy each to wife and one to your most trusted friend or relative. Also you can have this document stored in a Bank locker and tell a trusted friend about this fact that there is a location which has all the information which your family might need some day.
Make sure, you mention all the things which you wish your spouse/parents/children to do or carry out.
It can be things like
1. Life Insurance claim procedure
Give them detailed instructions on what they should do to claim your Insurance amount from the Life Insurance company. It can start from contacting the agent, filling up the forms, making sure all the documents are in place, constant follow-up with company etc.
2. How to use your life Insurance money for future
Once they get money from your Life Insurance, suggest how they can channelise it into different instruments based on their understanding, risk-taking capability and the amount of ease you want them to have in dealing with those.
3. How to Break FD’s or redeem Mutual funds in case of emergencies
Put some details in, on how they can break the FDs or redeem the mutual funds, in your name, in case of emergencies.
Ajay has taken Amulya Jeevan Term Insurance policy for Rs 50 lacs cover. Ajay lives in Mumbai . He would write something like this.
Steps you should follow for claiming the Life Insurance cover money in case of my death.
I have a life insurance policy “Amulya Jeevan” with Sum assured of Rs 50,00,000. In case of my death, you should follow this procedure.
- Meet our Agent named Mr. Funsuk Bangdu and ask him for the claim settlement forms , incase he is not able to give it to you , you can download it from LIC website
- You should make sure you also have original policy document which I have kept at ________ .
- Make sure you have you proof of title like PAN , Driving Licence etc AND marriage certificate copy .
- Make sure you have taken my death certificate from ____________ which will act like my proof of death , this is Important ! .
- Incase I die in accident, also have a proof of accident, this you can get from police station or hospital.
- I have stored all the Medical treatment at ___________ , also keep with you just incase its required.
- Incase LIC asks for my employer’s certificate, I have kept it at __________ or you can also ask my friend Robert who works with me and can help you on this , See this article to understand how someone you trust can help you .
- Incase you face any issue in getting claim settlement, take help of Ombudsman whose address is as follows .
Shri S Viswanathan
Insurance Ombudsman, Office of the Insurance Ombudsman,
3rd Floor, Jeevan Seva Annexe,S.V. Road, Santacruz(W),
MUMBAI-400 054. Tel : 022-26106928, Fax : 022-26106052
Email : firstname.lastname@example.orgNote : Worst case scenario — try to get help at jagoinvestor.com or contact Moneylife.com who can help you further in this regard!
This was just an example! You too, can mention detailed instructions for key things, which you feel can create issues for your family or where you feel they might get stuck because of lack of knowledge .
Now, this whole kit & caboodle won’t take more than a day, and it’ll be extremely helpful to your family and loved ones. And, to save your time and as my small New Years gift to you, I have created a template for you, to use 🙂 Just download it in any format (pdf , doc or image ) and fill it up .
Take Action today! Unless you take action, reading this article is worthless!. Share what you feel about this idea of creating a master document which would help your family in case of crisis. Do you want to add some more points which you feel i have left out? How much value do you feel one will add to his/her financial life by doing this? And aah… one more thing. Don’t forget to update this document every year 🙂
Bonus : Do you want to look at how our questions and answers Forum is helping VidyaSagar take his frist steps in personal finance ?