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The devastating fires in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are a good reminder to keep all your important documents stored together and a digitally encrypted copy saved in the cloud.
Having your documents readily available is not only important for these kinds of emergencies but can be helpful in keeping your financial life organised and in ensuring that if something happened to you, your loved ones would know how to handle your affairs.
Below is attached a list of the documents you should consider keeping in your emergency files.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY – FILE 1
|Power of attorney
|Birth certificates abridged and unabridged (yourself and dependants)
· Certificate of membership of medical aid
· Stem cell information
· Dental records
· Medical history your family my need to know in the future
|Certified copies of your identity documents
|Will documents – local and offshore
|Certified copies of your passports including your foreign birth registration
|Letter of wishes
|Marriage certificate and ANC
|Living will and organ donor information
|Proof of gifts, inheritance and other items excluded from your joint estate (only applicable to married individuals)
|Original vehicle registration documents
|Title deeds or mortgage bond details on immovable property
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY – FILE 2
|Personal financial information
|Patents and copyrights
|Latest tax return
|Short term insurance policy schedule
|Trust deeds- local and offshore
|Long term insurance policy schedules
|Details of suretyships/cessions
Scan your documents so you can have a digital record of them as well. If you encrypt the digital files, you can even upload them to Google Docs and share the files with your loved ones.
Regularly update your documents. Set up a reminder on your calendar so you won’t forget.
Kristen Lalieu CA(SA) CFP®
Financial Life Management
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)