PKF Francis Aickin Limited, Far North, New Zealand
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31 Aug 2017
From the minute we come in to this wonderful world we are on a journey towards the inevitable end, which none of us like to think about.
The death of family and friends is something we all have to deal with and it seems as we approach the middle to twilight years it happens with increasing speed.
But do we stop to think what is going to happen when it is our turn to take that last bow? What are we leaving behind for our loved ones to deal with? I think most of us probably agree with the quote from Woody Allen “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens”.
The same can be said for life changing events such as a stroke, the sudden onset of dementia, or a debilitating accident. Think about the complications if one of these things happened to you.
In our business we develop very close relationships with clients and their families. This special and very personal client relationship is one of the things we love about our work. But we’ve come across a few situations in recent times where clients have either died or become incapacitated, and in many situations, and in some cases despite best attempts, there have been loose ends left that have proven to be a problem for us, and the family to sort out. You don’t want to inflict this on your family, and we hate having to charge a client’s estate to do this.
This article is about getting your life sorted out so that at any time or stage of life, your affairs are well recorded, so that in the event of death or incapacity, you don’t leave a mess behind for your family and advisers to sort out. It’s not just about having a will. For many of us, especially those of us in business, there are many more complications to our lives than the simple distribution of our assets. Things such as: what insurance policies are there, where are the keys to your firearms safe, what’s your Facebook password, who else can sign on your bank accounts, who’s your next of kin?
Any one of us can keep records of things like this, but how do we keep it up to date, where are the details to be kept, who’s going to know where the records are? And when will we get around to doing it?
To meet this challenge we’ve developed a service for our clients that we call The Life Organiser. It’s been created to help our clients organise their personal affairs and note important information so that it can be easily accessed should they or their family need it. In some cases, this information will be scattered around the house, workplace and even locked away in their own head.
The Life Organiser is a central register for all matters relating to a person. It includes a checklist of all the things that might be needed by anyone trying to make sense of our affairs and lives. Once completed and all of the important documents are attached, it gets stored in a secure and private location that only the individual and nominated persons know about. The record is accessible by the person concerned and nominated others, so it can be updated easily and accessed when needed.
This not only ensures that your personal details and wishes are recorded but also provides the security of knowing that all your important documentation is held in a separate, secure location.
We’ve both done a Life Organiser, and it’s been quite surprising what has cropped up when we started imagining someone trying to sort things out in our absence or incapacity.
For more information on how we can help your business, get in touch