March plays host to National Spring Cleaning Week. Yes, we kid you not,
But in all seriousness, it’s not a bad idea. National Spring Cleaning Week isn’t just about getting the curtains down and dusting behind the back of the sofa. It’s about de-cluttering your life too.
On the website (if you want to take a look, it’s www.springcleaningweek.com) there is a section which is all about spring cleaning your finances. This is a great exercise to go through, not just your personal finances, but your business accounts too. Time to look at your income and your outgoings, look at where you could perhaps shave some costs if you need to, perhaps see if you can save some money by changing credit card deals or energy suppliers for example.
However, this blog is about more than just doing that. If you read our last post last month, then we talked about the importance of getting a will in place, so that you could decide who your possessions were left to. And that got us thinking, should the worst happen, then do your loved ones know what to do with your finances?
Do they know how many bank accounts you have, or who they are with? What insurance policies you have in place? Or where your will is being held? With that in mind, here’s our advice for Spring Cleaning Week.
Draw up a document which details everything you have. Bank accounts, insurance policies, investments, mortgage, savings, ISAs, you name it, list it. Some people even have their own funeral plans drawn up and listed with a specific funeral director, if that’s you, then list that too. Detail account numbers, phone numbers, passwords etc.
This would make it so much easier for loved ones to get your affairs in order and not feel like they are lost in space, they will be able to notify everyone that needs to know about your death, so that they can take stock, work out who, if anyone, needs to be paid, as well as being able to stop correspondence coming addressed to you, which, in itself, can be hugely upsetting.
It may seem like an arduous task, and also one which you might not like to do – no one wants to think about their demise after all – but your family and friends will find it that much easier. They won’t have to worry about tracking people or financial documents down, but can concentrate on the bigger things, like the family, and dealing with their grief, and new life without you.
Finally, don’t forget to tell your loved ones where it is stored! On a USB, printed out in a drawer somewhere, wherever you decide to store it (note, obviously, if you are storing online, you may want to password protect it to prevent against cyber-attacks, just tell the few people that need to know what your password is).
And to make it easier for you, we’ve created a spreadsheet which you can get your hands on all you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Survivors Information Pack. This lists everything we can think of which you may want to add details for, so that all you need to do is to fill it in, and then hand over to your family/store in a place where your family know how to get access.
If there is one lot of spring cleaning you should do this month, then make it this.