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Leaving enough info behind with my will for those left behing - advice please...(25 Posts)
I wanted advice on wills. I wanted to leave some documents behind with my will so those left behind could deal with things easily. I found these two on age-uk guide, which I thought may do the job - but I wondered if they would cover everything somebody would need to know?
Also, I had a couple of other questions:
1) I know to register a death, you need id, but do you need id at any stage before that? At the hospital perhaps? Maybe it depends if they die at home?
2) With somebody who's self employed - Is it different than from a regular person dying in any way? Or are all the processes exactly the same? Posting an ad in the london gazette and a local paper, giving the creditors 8 weeks etc
Also I did wonder about national insurance contributions...
Not really had many people die on me, myself. Presumably other people on these boards have though - or are maybe lawyers. I just wanted to feel I'd left enough information that somebody would need.
I've got a separate document made up with my passwords... what I want to try do in this instance though here is just leave enough information about the practical steps...
that should read "Leaving enough info behind with my will for those left behind - advice please..."
FIL passed away around 3 years ago. We found the practical stuff wasn't too tricky - the doctors, funeral directors and registrars give plenty of advice and information and there are leaflets you are provided with.
In terms of dealing with the estate, it's a really helpful to have an organised filing system so that those left behind can methodically work through banks, building societies, pension providers, utilities and so on.
The thing that was toughest for us was arranging the funeral - choosing readings, music, hymns and so on was quite a struggle, as was informing everyone who needed to know. For this reason, I've already chosen my own music and readings and left a note with my will.
thanks nancerama. am trying to make sure my files are easy to understand for somebody. have made a funeral wishes letter with contact details of friends in as well.
do you think those age uk documents would have sufficed for you though then?
there was those other couple of questions. i guess many people have had to deal with this business before so there'll be people on these boards who know best.
Here's the stuff I put in the document I store with my will:
Date of birth
Place of birth
Bank/building society accounts
Deeds to house held with
Mortgage account number
Pension/life insurance policy details
Premium bond details
Car log book and insurance details
I belong to the following clubs/churches/organisations
Enduring power of attorney held by:
Tax office and reference numbers
Most important thing is to make sure all your documents are in the same place and to make sure all loose ends are tied up.
thanks nancerama. the sort of things in your list, yes i've got a document for those.
I know to register a death, you need id,
really - I have registered two deaths and not asked for ID, is this a new process? What sort of I.D do you need, something to show you are next of kin a birth or marriage certificate?
it could be what i've read thus far is wrong, ivykaty44. i just want to make sure i've left enough and the right info with my will for those left behind.
Why not pop along to your local register of births, deaths and marriages? They will have suitable leaflets they will let you take away.
OP, hope you don't mind me asking a question on your thread, but does anyone know if a Will has to be read before a funeral (or before funeral arrangements are made)?
I've arranged a funeral (my Dad's) and the Will wasn't read until after the funeral. Does it not seem a bit "grabby" to be looking in a Will straight away? Ultimately, the wishes stated in the Will were known by the family, so I think this is the main thing, people need to be aware of what's in the Will, because there is always a chance that it's not read until later.
What really helped me when sorting out the financial side of things and probate etc, was that a full and clear list of assets had been left.
Sorry, I can't help re your question about being self employed. I had to complete a tax return when sorting out the finances for my Dad, and had some tax to pay (out of his assets). So I would think that any tax and presumably NI, would have to be sorted by your executor - but that's just my assumption.
Aside from the practical executor type duties and information left to complete that side of things, the thing that helped me the most was that my Dad had told me his views on life and death. He died suddenly and it was totally unexpected, but I knew that he'd had a good life, he'd enjoyed it, he felt contented that he'd raised his family. I knew that he thought life was for living, and that when a loved one had gone, you should still think of them and remember them, but you had to get on with your life. Knowing this, in the long run, was more important than anything. I want to leave my finances and paperwork in order for my family to sort things easily when I'm gone, but I also want them to know my views on life and death, just as my Dad had told me. It gave me a lot of strength after he'd gone.
Timetopost, no, it's quite normal for a will to be read before the funeral; apart from anything else, often the funeral wishes are set out in the will.
I'm a will writer and have an advert over on Mumsnet Classifieds (Marlow Wills). I normally advise my clients to do the following once their will has been signed:
1. Send the original to the Probate Office for storage (far more reliable and cheaper than the commercial storage companies)
2. Send a letter to the executors telling them the full details of where the will is stored, the reference, date, etc.
3. Keep a copy of the will at home together with a note which they can update of their executors and beneficiaries' full addresses, (so each time they move, it's updated), and also a note of their assets, eg insurance details, shareholdings, bank account numbers etc.
Mumble, thanks for the info, it's very helpful. I'm an executor for another Will, so I make sure it's read before the funeral.
We knew what was in my Dad's Will so reading at after the funeral wasn't an issue, but it's something to be mindful of in future.
Your point 1 re holding the Will at the probate office is really helpful advice, I didn't know it was possible.
I'll take a look at your advert if I need to revisit my Will in future.
"Why not pop along to your local register of births, deaths and marriages? They will have suitable leaflets they will let you take away."
thanks nancerama. not a bad idea. in general, my problem is i've not really had to deal with many people dying - so it's diffcult to get an overview of what information would be useful to leave behind.
i'm sure other people have though.
My father died last year, and had previously left all his children a copy of what he called his 'laundry list'. It covered pretty much everything you can imagine, in great detail. From memory:
Utilities - gas / electric / water / council tax: all account numbers, contact phone numbers, DD amount and correspondence address.
Bank accounts - account numbers, sort codes, regular incomings / outgoings, phone numbers / correspondence addresses.
Investments - where to find relevant paperwork, investment account numbers, phone numbers, correspondence addresses
Credit cards - account numbers, where to find all receipt slips for the last 2 months (used to keep them unti lthe bill came in, check them off and then shred), correspondence addresses.
Pension (occupational) - contact details for pension provider, pension reference number, NI number, pension amount, where to find payslips so i could calculate if an income tax rebate was due.
Pension (state) - NI number, relevant contact details, pension amount
House - where deeds held (no mortgage), where to find warranties etc
TV license - where to find, renewal date
Insurance - where to find policies, policy numbers, renewal dates
Car - where to find ownership documents
Where to find important documents eg marriage license, birth certificate, original will.
List of all direct debits and standing orders, including charitable donations made with gift aid.
List of all gifts made in the last 7 years (relevant for inheritance tax).
His wishes regarding funeral / burial, including contact details for various friends who he specifically wanted to invite.
Also in the letter was his views on what order we should inform companies etc in (eg, informing the credit card company before informing the bank to ensure that a DD wasn't refused because the account was frozen), how to register the death, and a sort of 'first steps to take' (eg, if he died at home, contact his doctor, contact funeral company etc).
I was one of the executors of his estate (my mother being the other). My mum had had absolutely no input into the finances really and having all the information we needed spelled out clearly made what was a hard task at a difficult time so much easier, especially as my mum really wasn't up to much right after my dad died (they'd been married since she was 16 - 47 years). Me and DH have now written our own, and have also included things like email passwords, facebook passwords etc.
Does that help at all?
Sorry, just one thing to add - there was an awful lot of personal information in the list he gave, so we had to make sure it was kept in a safe place (in our case, in a locked fire-proof safe). If you're planning to keep yours safe yourself, make sure the relevant people know how to find it!
When you write to your executors to tell them where the original will is stored, remember also to tell them where the copy one is, too. Most of my clients keep a copy of the will at home with the account details etc. You don't necessarily want to put too much detail in just in case you are ever burgled, though.
thanks DuchessofHaphazard. i've made a document of that type of info. i was thinking i'd perhaps leave those two age uk guides (if they would be useful... not sure what your thoughts are, back to my first post).
help still much appreciated with this. thank you
Not sure what further info you need, tonyf? Your question seems to have been answered already...?
well mumblechum1 - whether those 2 ageukguides would do the trick for a start, i guess... t
just what i put in my original post really... not had to cope with many people dying, and i guess other people on these boards may have...
My mother has died after a long illness in January. Despite being ill for many years she refused to acknowledge that she was going to die.
Her affairs are in a disastrous state. We have joint executory and are doing it ourselves (one of my sibs is a solicitor) and it is taking ages and ages to sort out - we have so far contacted 38 financial institutions to enquire about accounts. Most of them need a copy of the death certificate and proof of ID of all executors =a lot of work and money (an official copy of a death certificate costs 10 quid)
Lots of people above have given good advice about the information you need to leave but I can tell you that whoever you leave behind will appreciate it.
In reaction to this my Father has stringently updated his death file. We all know where it is in the filing cabinet (shame my Mother's drawer was empty and she stuck to her shoe box and envelope system) and it now has his funeral wishes included and a memory stick with access to his most up to date MS Money back up. His estate (which hopefully we are not going to be dealing with for years and years and years) will be a doddle in comparison.
thanks lurkerspeaks. do you think those 2 ageuk guides would do the trick? it's difficult to put yourself in the position of the person you're leaving the info behind for.
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