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The Guide to Your Affairs Checklist

Written by Marianne Heron with Paul Britton

This is a list of what should be in your ‘bible’ which is an essential part of your retirement plan:

  1. Covering letter. A letter stating what this file is about. Tell your loved ones what is in the file and why you are doing it.
  2. Legacy letter. In addition to the above, consider including letters to your loved ones.
  3. Funeral instructions. All details for you and your spouse so that your family can carry out your wishes. Avoid putting this in your will as it is difficult to update and may only be read after your funeral.
  4. Will and estate plans. Copies and information of where the originals are stored, names and contact details of your Executor and Power of Attorney. Include a copy of your Living Will.
  5. Your advisors. Names and contact details for your lawyer, financial advisor/s, tax consultant /accountant.
  6. Religion. Your place of worship. Name and contact details of Priest/Pastor/ Rabbi.
  7. Bank accounts. Details of all bank accounts.
  8. Other cards. For example store cards.
  9. Pension fund/s. Contact details for informing them of changes.
  10. Health insurance. Details with contact details to inform them of changes.
  11. Doctors. Contact details of all medical practitioners.
  12. All insurance policies. Make a list of all policies with complete contact details.
  13. Investments. List of them and where documents are stored.
  14. Important documents. Copies of passport, birth certificate, property deeds. Ideally store originals separately.
  15. A last letter. Some people like to include a last message to loved ones, but hopefully not like the parting shot of one old curmudgeon who told his backsliding relatives exactly what he thought of them!
  16. Budget. A written budget or access to your accounting system - your family will need to know what monthly bills need to be paid.
  17. Tax returns. Where they are stored and details of your tax accountant if you have one.
  18. Passwords and Personal Identification numbers (PIN) numbers. Write them down and store in a safe place.

Storage. Store your file in a safe place and let your family know where it is. You may consider a safety deposit box, but make sure that the Power of Attorney allows your family access. A memory stick is also an option.

Write up your life story

Write a short or complete history of your life with photos as your children may one day want to research the family tree. Annotate photographs, especially those with people in them so that friends and family can be identified.

This excerpt was taken from Rewire Don’t Retire, sponsored by Irish Life and Active Retirement Ireland. You can download the full guide HERE.