Your Death Book
In this article, we will be discussing Creating a Death Book and why it is important. As financial advisors, we often plan for clients’ deaths, disabilities and dread disease, however we are not as diligent when it comes to planning for our deaths, or tragic events that could prevent us from generating an income.
A death book can be defined as a folder where you have all your important documents where your client has their important documents. When putting together a death book for yourself or a client, you can include the following as applicable;
– A Will
– Life Insurance Policy
– Retirement Annuity Policy
– Bond Cover Policy
– Medical Aid Records
– Any other applicable documents
The benefit of having a death book is that in the event of something unfortunate happening to you, your spousal partner, next of kin or business partner can go to one central place for all the information and documents they need. Usually when a person dies, there is a flurry of activity trying to find and source relevant documents. This adds to the difficulty of an already difficult time for grieving loved ones.
They have to find the insurance company, financial advisor, claims administrator, etc which makes the claiming process even more tedious. Consolidating everything into one specific place or folder called your death book makes the process a little easier. This death book can go into a security deposit box, a filing cabinet etc where everything can be accessed.
As a financial advisor, I usually create specific death books for my clients on my computer. I include their policy schedules, correspondence, and other documentation. This covers me for future scenarios where I must timeously pull information for my clients or their beneficiaries. I can easily source these from my folder, send them through and explain the clients’ wishes.
It is important to remember that your first claim as a financial advisor might throw you. The only reason it will throw you is if you have to scramble to find information. To avoid this, my suggestion is to put it into practice for your life first. Create a death book for yourself, and make sure all documents and information are included. This could consist of anything from your Will, your tax number, shares certificates, cryptocurrency details and passwords.
After creating your death book, start creating death books for your clients. Your clients’ death books may not consist of everything yours does such as passwords, however you can advise them to create a death book in their personal capacity as well. Emphasize how this will make things easier for them and their beneficiaries in the event of anything unfortunate happening to you.