Keep these essential papers in place and inform at least one family member so that your heirs don’t have to run from pillar to post to inherit what is rightfully theirs.
1) Primary documents
These include your birth certificate, marriage certificate, PAN card, passport, election ID card and the Aadhaar card. Will be needed when transferring assets to your heirs.
2) Insurance details
The purpose of life insurance will be defeated if your family is in the dark. Make a list of all the policies, mentioning the name of insurers, policy numbers, insured sums and the tenures.
3) Pension documents
If you have an NPS account, mention the account number and nomination details.
Give the pension account number with your employer.
4) Property papers
All property-related documents should be in one place. If the property is mortgaged, keep photocopies.
Mention the loan account number and the latest outstanding amount. If property is insured, mention policy coverage.
5) Bank account details
Make a list of various bank accounts, giving the name of the bank, the account number, holding pattern and the nomination details.
6) Bank locker details
Mention the name of bank, locker number, ownership pattern and whereabouts of the key. Maintain an inventory of items kept in the locker and update every time you operate it.
7) Demat account details
Give the name of depository partner, demat account number and nomination details. If possible, update the details of the securities in the demat account.
8) Other investments
Give details of the PPF account and folio numbers of other post office investments. Make a list of mutual fund investments, mentioning folio numbers, ownership pattern and nomination details.
9) Loans and Receivables
If you have taken or given private loans to relatives or friends, mention the amount and the date by when these are payable/receivable.
10) Online 10 passwords
Though these are to be kept secret, keep a list for emergency reference. Mention the website, the online ID and the password.
Keep this in mind
This information is to be kept secret and accessed only if the main breadwinner of the family has either died or is in a medical emergency.
Make sure to update the information regularly. How often you do this depends on your convenience and the changes in investments.
The information listed above is very basic. you may want to add more details of other assets along the same lines.
You may want to make an online version of this information as well, but make sure it is on a secure site.
Store your documents online
Worried that your documents are not secure? Digitising them could solve the problem. Many portals now offer to store digital versions of your documents, which can be accessed by anyone from anywhere, saving you the cost of buying and printing reams of paper.
You can make changes to the files offline and this can be synched automatically when you log on to the Net.
The latter lets you store up to 25 GB of data for free, while DropBox provides a free account of 2 GB, which can be upgraded to 50 GB for $9.99 (Rs 560) a month.
Kleeto (kleeto.in) is an Indian company, which allows you to store 15 physical documents for a basic subscription charge of Rs 200 a year. The company collects the files from you and uploads the scanned versions that you can access. Whenever you need the original documents, they can send them to you within two to three days.
You can store your medical history on Yostechnologies.com and MyHealthRecords. in, which let you upload scanned paperwork. This lets you access the information any time and avoids wastage of money on duplicate tests if you misplace a report.
There are also apps that help organise your paperwork and make good use of offers, such as Warrantify. This app allows you to scan your receipts and warranties, and store them on the cloud. You can add information about the model, price and warranty validity. The app will keep track of the warranty period and notify you when the expiry date approaches.
Making a will online
If you are tech-savvy, you can get a will made online. A few firms, such as Warmond Trustees & Executors and Vakilno1.com, offer this service. To make a will online, you need to register with the company and key in your personal and financial information. Once the details are uploaded, the company drafts a will and sends it to you within seven days. Besides making the will, these companies help with the registration and act as executors. The cost of this convenience: Rs 10,000. However, you need to have a digital signature for signing an online will. The two witnesses must also have digital signatures.