As i enter the final few days of expecting baby number three, my life is filled with checklists. What to buy, what to pack, what to stock up on, what to do before taking a few weeks off. So this list is just another one of those, but one i found wasn’t frequently mentioned in the baby publications i’ve been delving through.
I was recently on a trip with my girl friends and, although, nobody likes talking about it, we decided that it is a good idea to have all our family documents up to date and in an easy-to-access-folder should anything happen to us. A kind of manifesto.
This kind of ‘admin’ resonates with us more when we become parents, and our once fancy-free days are over. Instinctively one of our main concerns becomes our off-spring and their interests. Luckily we inherently become more cautious and risk-averse as we enter the realm of parenthood.
Either way, its a good idea to update all these documents once in a while and there is no time like now.
So, where to start.
Obviously the first thing is to decide who the guardians would be (and let them know).
Next, get the folder out and make sections for all material assets and liabilities with contact details for relevant people as well as account numbers and pass codes. Examples include primary home, secondary home, insurance, medical aid, bank accounts, investments, policies, savings accounts and loans.
The idea is not to have all your bank statements etc on this folder, simply details of the accounts, contact people and a reference to another file containing all the statements. This is just a thin reference file to guide somebody trying to make sense of your affairs.
Make a section for certified documents. All identity documents, passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates. Children’s vaccination documents (as well as pet vaccinations).
Vehicle registration documents may be useful too.
A list of monthly expenses and term fees for the children is useful, so payments can either be continued or stopped, which ever is appropriate.
Update your will. Most important here is to ensure the assets follow the children to guardians in order to pay for their future expenses.
Finally, should you have a contract with your domestic help, add this contract and all UIF details as well as certified ID’s etc too.
One last useful item could be to identify where all spare keys are kept. Or anything else that you may consider useful.
I have written 6-monthly dairies for my children to keep them up to date on what they’ve been like, their progress and their awesomeness. These will also be included in my folder.
Once this is all in place, you may find some peace and the whole idea might no longer be so daunting.