3 ways to ‘tidy-up’ your estate for family
In a recent survey conducted by Legado, 29% of people said their life’s most important documents were not stored in one safe place – and they could not be confident next of kin would know where to look in the event of their death. With documents now a mix of digital-only and paper-based copies it’s getting harder and harder for executors to track down the documents that matter.
Here are three common problems leading to ‘messy’ estates and some ways you can organise and tidy-up loose ends, ensuring your family will never be left in the dark.
1. Not throwing enough away
As surprising as it sounds, keeping paperwork that’s no longer relevant can cause problems. Faced with not knowing what’s important and what’s not, your family will be forced to make additional enquiries. For example, old share certificates may be long sold, but without checking it’s impossible to know. Many organisations now have specialist bereavement teams, but no matter how sensitive the call handler, having to repeat again and again the date of death of your loved one is hard. Anything you can do to limit the amount of admin required will save them emotional stress in the end.
2. Keeping digital and the paper-based records separate
It’s estimated around 1.6m in pension pots worth £19.4bn are ‘lost’ because families don’t realise the policies exist. No one wants to think of their family missing out, least of all valuable pension income. But it’s hardly surprising when you consider that our important life admin is now a mix of both paper-based records and digital copies. Some digital files may be emailed and never downloaded, others like annual financial summaries are sometimes only accessible behind password-protected websites. In fact, only 16% of people* felt they updated and organised their affairs regularly.
3. Only sorting the ‘big stuff’
Alongside the obvious important documents like your Will, pension statements, NI number, and savings accounts there are other crucial details such as passwords for utility sites, social media accounts, car documentation and pet insurance. A common mistake is to leave clues as to where the ‘big stuff’ might be found, only to leave out access to email or social media accounts.
Be Life-Ready for anything.
Legado helps you organise all the important details about your life and affairs in one secure, accessible place with bank-grade digital vault storage. Plus, it’s easy to do with pre-organised categories acting as prompts. All data in a Legado vault is encrypted – even the Legado team has no access to the files. With added two-factor authentication, even if someone discovers your password, they wouldn’t be able to access your Legado account information, because to log-in both a password and unique code from your mobile phone are required.
Perhaps best of all, a Legado digital vault allows you to select nominees who know this is where you keep your most private documents. Give them access to some, or all of your vault, or if you prefer, leave everything private and set up after-death sharing.
With a Legado digital vault your family will find your affairs neatly organised, updated and ready for whatever life throws at you.
*Source: YouGov Survey February 2021