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We know it can be a bit overwhelming to think about the big question of practicalities when you die. But it can make life so much simpler for your loved ones if you spend a bit of time thinking about these important questions now. Of course, we all try our best to keep things simple… but over our lifetime we accumulate reams of documents and digital records and files.
At the Charity we have seen the extra stress that occurs for people and their families when important documents or contact details need to be found, but no planning has been made for such a moment. The paperwork and digital records holding all the details of a full and active life are often stored in all sorts of places: files in draw, boxes in dusty attics, digital accounts… the list goes on!
How to prepare
Our best advice is to be prepared! To help with this, we have created this handy Ducks in a Row guide, as an aid to keeping all your important details in one safe and accessible place.
Getting your ducks in a row now will enable you to record and quickly find important information about your life, without you – or anyone else – having to sort through all that paperwork, when the time comes.
The Arthur Rank Hospice Charity Ducks in a Row booklet will guide you through the process of recording your affairs, allowing you to collect information about your life in one place.
There are different sections such as:
• Your Information – to include your next of kin, dependents, pets, close friends etc.
• Your life contacts – to include your key health contacts
• Your documents – to include your birth certificate, driving licence, National Insurance numbers, NHS card, your Will etc.
• Your possessions and property section – to include mortgage or tenancy details, vehicles you own etc.
• Your contact section – to include work/voluntary contacts, home contacts, local traders (milk, newspapers, window cleaners etc.), organisation contacts (clubs, memberships etc.)
• Your finances – current and savings accounts, pensions, NS&I savings, regular payments, utility and key suppliers and accounts, insurance policies etc.
• Your final wishes – funeral plans, medical science, flowers or donations, after the funeral, special requests, special messages etc.
Store it in a safe place
It is a personal booklet to accompany your will. After you have filled it in it is important that you store it in a safe, secure place so that you can use it to its full potential, updating it as information changes over time. Remember to tell a loved one where you have stored it also.