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In the event of an emergency or death the following documents are crucial to include in your personal ready to depart file, which can be kept in a safe or filed with your lawyer for safe keeping while you are alive:

  1. Your Marriage certificate.
  2. In the case of being divorced, copies of any divorce and maintenance agreements.
  3. Unabridged birth certificates for each member of the family.
  4. Your ID book or card and Drivers license.
  5. Should you have one, a copy of your ante nuptial contract.
  6. Your current employer details and employee number.
  7. Copies of updated utility documents.
  8. Medical aid and gap cover policies.
  9. Copies of house and car insurance policies.
  10. Copies of lease agreements between you and a lessee.
  11. Car ownership documentation.
  12. Firearm details, if you have one.
  13. A comprehensive list of insurance, pension funds, trusts and investments.
  14. Copies of insurance and funeral policies as well as contact information to reach the insurance company.
  15. A list of debit orders that go off every month, when they go off and how much they usually are.
  16. Bank details cheque, credit card, vehicle finance, bond and call accounts.
  17. Passwords or pins for phones, computers and bank accounts, encrypted using an App like LastPass to keep them safe.
  18. Your current employer details and employee number.
  19. Various documents if you own a business or shares of a company, such as partnership agreements.
  20. A copy of your will and your living will (communicating your desire not to be kept on life support).
  21. Medical information and history for yourself and other dependent family members.
  22. The most updated tax assessment for both yourself and your partner.
  23. Title deeds of all your properties (if you have a bond over the property, the title deed should be with the bank).
  24. The contact details of your lawyer, insurance broker, financial advisers, doctors and tax consultants all of whom need to be notified when you pass away.
  25. In the event that you are widowed, certified copy of your late partners death certificate as well as information of the executor who attended to the deceased estate of your deceased partner.

While extensive, this list is not entirely comprehensive as no two individuals are alike or have the same policies and as such it is important to start the conversation with a financial adviser or legal professional to make sure your personal “ready to depart file is regularly updated before you pass.

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