ByÂ Ramalingam K:
Since time immemorial people have been working hard to provide the best for their family members.Â Today is no different. We work hard all our life so that our family can be secure when we are alive and long after we are gone. The modern life has got numerous avenues of savings, investments and insurance.
However, this noble aim can be defeated if our family members aren’t aware of our financial dealings. In case of death or hospitalization they are the ones to be affected the most. So how can we ensure that they do not suffer any financial problems if we were to be hospitalized or die? Let’s see some things that you must do.
Ensure Proper Paper Work:Â The first and foremost thing is to ensure that all the paper work is in order, i.e. legally correct. Generally, insurance claims are rejected for want of legally correct documentation like hiding an illness, misinformation. Also the settlements are delayed in most of the cases because of lack of nomination or lack of will. So ensure correctness of documents.
Nomination:Â Whether it’s a bank account, insurance policy or a Demat account, please nominate a person who will receive the remains or benefits due. A nomination ensures that the transfer of assets takes place smoothly. But it must be understood that nomination is not a will. The courts have upheld the right of nominee over the heirs when there is no will made by the deceased. So check if you have left any bank account, insurance policy or any financial asset without nominee.
Joint Holding:Â The other way to avoid the lack of nominee is to hold all financial assets jointly. It’s a neat and clean arrangement. The financial assets could be operated on ‘either or survivor’ mode. This will ensure that your family members can have access to the assets as per the need of the hour. This becomes vital during periods of prolonged illness or hospitalization.
Backup of all Documents:Â In spite of ensuring all the legal and other formalities it can come to a knot if these were to get lost or damaged due to any reason. To prevent such a loss ensure you keep a back up all the documents. In today’s digital world safety of such documents is simple and cost effective. Simple way is to scan all the documents and store them digitally. Google or any email provider is the simple answer. So go ahead and choose the best option for you and your family.
Keep your family Informed:Â All the points covered above are useless if you do not keep your family informed. The ideal thing is to involve your family members, especially your spouse, in every financial decision you make. But due to variety of reasons it may not be possible. So every year or ideally every quarter inform your family members, especially your spouse the following details-
– Latest Financial Position to include assets and liabilities.
– New investments made.
– Location of back up documents.
– Contact details of financial advisors, lawyers etc.
– Important user IDs and passwords.
Invest time and effort:Â Please invest time and effort in ensuring proper documentation as well as related activities. This will ease the pain for your family and prevent financial hardships. Remember a stitch in time saves nine. So please take all time to ensure that proper documentation, nomination and such actions are taken.
The points given above will help in ensuring your family a painless transfer or access to financial assets created by you in time of need, be it prolonged illness, hospitalization or death. An asset which gets into legal tangle creates lots of suffering, pain and anxiety for everyone. To avoid that ensure joint holding, nomination, proper will and documentation with fool proof back up. Follow up with informing the family members and be happy.
A happy family is an asset which is everyone’s dream and let’s make all out efforts to ensure the same by securing them financially.