By Emsie Martin
None of us like to talk about death, but since Covid-19 is has become something that many families had to deal with more frequently. Suddenly we also need to make sure we have appropriate and valid wills in place. Likewise, we also need to make sure that we are ready to deal with the practical and legal aspects when someone close to us pass on.
It remains a process that is shrouded in administrative and other challenges. When you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, it will help you a lot to have a list of the most important formalities and the practical aspects that you need to pay attention to.
Knowing that death is inevitable does not mean that we are not shocked and saddened when someone close to pass away. We often shy away from thinking about this, but it can be invaluable if we prepare and know what to do, when such a sad day does come.
Make it easier for those left behind
You can make it easier for those who are left behind by keeping the following documents together where they can be easily obtained.
- Write a letter wherein you stipulate your funeral wishes and where you stipulate whether you want to be buried or cremated. It will provide comfort to the loved ones left behind and it will be one less thing that a family can argue about.
- Make sure there is a file or a memory stick with a photo or photos that can be used, name the bearers if you decide to be buried, and list the flowers you prefer and your choice of music.
- Sometimes one attends a funeral and then you think, “I hope they don’t do something like that at my funeral.” You can prevent it.
- Have a copy of your will at hand. Read it regularly and make sure it is still relevant. Changes that can affect your will are your marital status, divorce, and the birth of children. Make sure someone knows where a signed copy of your will is.
- If there are pets in your home, remember to provide for them as well.
- Make sure there a copy of your ID is accessible and make sure someone know where the original is.
- Also keep the details of your funeral policy in a place where it is easy to access.
- Also make sure that your firearm license is accessible.
- Make sure your marriage certificate, a copy of your prenuptial agreement, a divorce order if you are divorced and a death certificate from your spouse if he or she has already died, are also easily accessible.
- Information about your income tax and who deals with your business, as well as a title deed of the property you own and details of any insurance you took out on the property are also important.
- Also make sure that you have a bank statement and details of each account you have, details of investments and life policies (especially the contact person) at hand.
- Also keep proof of ownership of a vehicle or vehicles, as well as details of home and vehicle insurance, medical aid details and passwords and PIN numbers at hand.
Make a list of the following people and their contact details:
- Family members and children, friends, your lawyer, executor, bank manager, doctor, accountant, employer;
- digital platforms you are active on and their passwords; and
- you may have crypto money of which no one knew.
Think of those who are left behind and make things easier for them.
Solidarity understands that labour relations specialists, office practitioners and healthcare practitioners are experiencing unique challenges and during this time you even have to support staff who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19. You must have a wide range of other information, knowledge and skills and therefore Solidarity’s Guilds offer you an opportunity to join any of their guilds. Please visit the link https://gildes.solidariteit.co.za/ for more information.