My Life – Getting your affairs in order

Someone telling you that it would be a good time ‘to get your affairs in order’ is something that may feel like it should be in a movie or novel and due to the various actions and emotions that may be involved then it can be too easy to put it off indefinitely. So, we have tried to do here is have a simple but comprehensive document that will at least ensure that you and those bereaved who are dealing with your affairs know what is involved.

We would also suggest that there is never a bad time to do this exercise. However a life changing event such as marriage, divorce, moving home, the birth of your 1st  child/grandchild, retirement or even a serious diagnosis may give you the stimulus required. And indeed, knowing where all documents are and what your financial situation is can help you live the best life possible for you.

THE Steps

How we would suggest doing this exercise is:

  1. Get a folder which can hold all documents such as a A4 ringbinder, with clear plastic pouches or a hole puncher.
  2. Print the A4 page ‘My Life’
  3. Find a quiet time when you are less likely to be disturbed and settle yourself with some favourite relaxing music.
  4. Take ~10 minutes to complete your estimation of documents relevant to ‘My Life’.
    • Put in an ‘X’ if you do not believe it is relevant.
    • If relevant place in the number of documents/Accounts relevant
  5. Before you start you start organising the folder gather all relevant documents to hand that are available in the various locations including on-line
  6. Allow yourself some time to complete your folder. It may take you 30-45 minutes or longer depending on the level of complexity.
  7. Consider if you would like to do this (or review the outcome) with your partner (or the Executor in your will). If there is any word you do not understand as you go through the steps, check our Glossary or FAQ pages for an explanation.
  8. Maybe you would like to ask for help on some action such as those listed under The most important things to do.
  9. Store your folder/ring binder in a safe place and let your Executor 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.