A PRACTICAL GUIDELINE FOR A DECEASED'S NEXT-OF-KIN
- A copy of the Will and contact number of the Executor (The nominated Executor should already have an original Will in safe custody). Your Living Will containing written instructions on ceremonial wishes surrounding a traditional funeral or cremation. Next-of-kin should be aware of wishes in this regard as well as about donating of organs.
- Birth Certificate
- Identity Document
- Certified copy of Surviving Spouse's Identity Document
- Marriage Certificate
- Original Antenuptial Contract, or certified copy (if applicable)
- Copy(s) of Birth Certificate(s) of minor beneficiary(ies)
- Copies of various ID documents - client, spouse, children, other dependents, or beneficiaries, nominated guardians, etc.
- Marriage Certificate(s) and/or copy(s) of Antenuptial contracts of heirs
- Original Death Certificate (to obtain upon event)
- A list with names and contact numbers of family members that can be contacted for support and advice. The name and contact numbers of the following (if applicable): financial planner, investment manager, banker, attorney, accountant, tax practitioner, insurance broker, medical advisor, doctor, employer, employees, partners, etc.
- Name and Address of the deceased and surviving spouse's Employer, as well as Employee Reference Number. In the case of Pensioners: Name, Address and Pension Reference Number
- Title Deed(s) in respect of Fixed Property
- Details of Bond Holder - Bond Account Number etc.
- Most recent Municipality Account, reflecting the valuation and improvements of the property
- Hire and Letting Contracts
- Registration Certificate(s) in respect of Motor Vehicle(s)
- Firearm(s) – Licenses
- Notes on where the safes are, extra keys, ammunition safes, other documents, passwords, and pin codes.
- Bank Account(s) Credit Card(s) etc.
- Cheque Book(s)
- All Life Policies - whether payable to the deceased's estate or to a third party. Should this already have been handed in at the Institution concerned, we require the name of the Institution, as well as the Policy Numbers
- Details of Short-term Insurance e.g., Motor Vehicles, House Contents, etc.
- Accounts payable by the deceased, as well as Credit Card(s), e.g., DSTV, Telkom, Vodacom, SABC TV license, chemist
- Name, Telephone Number, and Reference Number from Police Station, should the deceased have died of unnatural causes, e.g., motor vehicle accident, suicide, etc.
- Medical Aid information, funeral policies, or plans to cover the burial.
- Name, Address & Telephone Number of Auditor/Bookkeeper, should the deceased have made use of one
- Certificate(s) in respect of Share Holdings, e.g., Stock Exchange
- Certificate(s) in respect of Share Holdings, e.g., Private Companies
- Partnership Agreement(s) and Name(s) and Address(es) of partner(s)
- Particulars of Close Corporation(s), should the deceased have been a member
- Particulars of A trust should the deceased have been a member
- Unlocking codes, passwords, PIN codes, and access codes are very important in the electronic era we live in and are quite frequently overlooked in the preparation for this final surrender. Next-of-kin will need access to computers, cell phones, tablets, online accounts and portfolios, payment portals, e-mails, social media, and so forth.
- Details of things that may be history for you, but nobody has knowledge of.
Where there are copies in the file also indicate where the original documents are stored.
This file should be stored in a safe place and the next-of-kin should know where it is kept and how they can get access to it. It defies the issue if the file is locked in a safe and no one knows where the keys are.
This may seem like a very long list, but it helps with the winding up of an estate process and can make life so much easier for those left behind. Even though we live in a digital age, paperwork still counts and speaks on one's behalf when one is not present.