Several years ago, my brother passed away. Although I was not the executor of his estate, I assisted the executor to collate all his personal assets and liabilities. The majority of his documents were held in files and some boxes. My brother had an assurance policy which I picked up from his bank statement.  I could not find any policy documents. I found out that he had a financial consultant who had assisted him in the past. When eventually I was able to find his contact details. I phoned him and he told me that he could not remember what type of policy he had sold him and could not provide me with any information. He told that as he deals with so many clients, he could not recall what policy he had sold my brother. Eventually, I got hold the assurance company who eventually gave me the information I required.

A few years later my sister in law passed away. I was appointed the executor of her estate. Although I had obtained some of her financial details before she died, it was still a mission to compile all this information.

When I was a bank manager, I experienced several occasions, when the surviving spouses saw me after losing her husband. The wife did not have a clue in respect of his financial affairs and had no idea where all important documents were kept. I know that the executor of an estate playing an important role in winding up an estate, but if the executor was told where all important documents where kept, it would assist him/her greatly.

As a result of the above experiences, I decided to write a booklet, which one can record all their personal and family information. 

Your personal information document will assist you to help track of you and your family’s personal details as well as your financial situation.

The purpose of this document is reducing the stress of your family and beneficiaries when your estate has to wound up.

In the event of a serious accident, illness or death, all vital information is recorded accurately and comprehensively in one place, which will avoid unnecessary time spent in trying to trace these important documents.

A recommendation is that at least once a year, this document is updated. In addition, I recommend that his document is completed in pencil, so any alterations or updates can easily be made.

Another suggestion is where possible to make photocopies of all important documents of important documents, which can be kept with this file

CONCLUSION.

I believe that having some type of system to ensure that your above information is recorded and kept up to date, will greatly assist when the time comes to wind up an estate.

I have written a short booklet where all this information can be recorded. This booklet can be purchased online at

https://www.the-next-step.co.za/product/the-next-step-ebook/

. In addition, it is available in paper format