As Financial Planners, we deal intricately with the financial lives of many individuals and families.
It is the job of any good Financial Planner to know the relevant financial details about you, such as:
- Your family members and their ages
- Expenditure proportion on each family member
- Personal goals of each family member i.e. your children will need to be educated and you will need a marriage corpus for them, you would want to set aside cash flows each month for your parents, you might need to boost your own contingency reserve
- Your cash flows - how much are you spending on luxuries and how much on necessities such as food, rent, transport, basic bills and so on
- Whether you are planning on buying a home / a second home
- Your existing assets and liabilities
- Your family’s and your medical history, so that we can plan for any medical expenses that might arise…
...and much, much more.
As Planners, we know this not just because it is our job to know it, but mainly because it is details like these that make your Plan personalized and perfect for your family and you.
But there are a number of facts that might not be required in the making of a Financial Plan. Facts such as your bank account details, your broker details, the holding patterns of any old investments you may have made, and so on.
These are the facts that your family should know.
In case of any unforeseen circumstance that might result in a breadwinner’s untimely demise, it is vital that the family, which would already be dealing with emotional pain, should not go through any additional pain when it comes to dealing with the finances.
For this reason, it is advisable to do the following:
Maintain a Financial Life Book.
Let this book contain the following details:
- Details of Assets
- Property held - this should include details of the title deeds and nomination certificates of any properties held by you. Keep the original deeds in a safe place such as your bank locker, and make a note of this in your Financial Life Book
- Bank Accounts - this should include bank name, bank account number, past 3 month bank account statements, passwords to operate the account online (if any), the name and number of your bank Relationship Manager. Make a note of your credit and debit card numbers, ATM PINs and most importantly, holding pattern of the bank accounts.
- Mutual Funds and Shares held - this should include the details of your broker(s) / distributor(s), their contact details, the portfolios you hold with them, the holding pattern of the investments within the portfolios
- Bank and corporate FDs - this should include a list of FDs, dates of investment, dates of maturity, rates of interest and any other details that are relevant. Keep the original FD certificates in a safe place and make a note of this in your Financial Life Book
- PPF and EPF details - including your PPF pass book and EPF account number
- Vehicles owned - include details of the registration book, car insurance details and relevant car papers
- Any other assets such as gold, jewellery and so on, along with relevant details and documentation
- Any receivables from family or friends
- Details of Liabilities
- Know your loan details such as start date, tenure, rate of interest
- Keep a copy of the amortization table
- If you have taken insurance along with the loan, keep a record of the insurance taken and the premium paid
- Make a note of the number of premiums paid, any additional capital repaid (part prepayment of your loan) and make a note of any pre-payment penalty that there might be
- Make a note also of any personal loans you might have taken
- Details of Insurance
- Keep your term insurance policy original in a safe and accessible place and make a note of this in your Financial Life Book, making a mention of the amount of insurance, who the beneficiary is, the details of the insurance agent (if any) and how to contact the insurance company
- Keep a copy of your family floater health insurance policy, with the details of your agent and of the premium last paid. It will mention individual family members’ Sum Assured and riders if any
- Any other insurance policies you might have such as personal accident, critical illness, traditional policies such as endowments and money back policies, ULIPs, ULPPs and so on. If you are also covered by your employer, make a note of it.
- Details of your Cash Flows
- Your loved ones and you should be aware of how much you are earning and spending as a family each month from all sources, so make a note of your inflows including your salary or business income, interest income, dividends received, rent received etc
- Also make a note of your main and peripheral outflows such as key expenses like food, rent, travel, insurance premiums, children’s school expenses and also outflows on luxuries, as well as ongoing investments that are being made
- Keep a note of important dates of payments - such as premium on your insurance (life and general), important dates on loans and deposits, and so on.
- Most important is your Will.
If you don’t have a Will already, do make one immediately. If you have one, ensure that it is relevant even today i.e. it does not exclude any further assets you may have accumulated or any changes in your personal and financial circumstances. Have the original in a safe place and a copy with a trusted loved one. Make a note of both these in your Financial Life Book
- Details of relevant professionals
Make a note of the names and contact details of relevant professionals such as your CA, your lawyer / attorney, your tax accountant any business associates, your employer and your financial planner. Include their contact details -mobile numbers, office numbers and email addresses. Include copies of any current contracts you might have with these professionals as well.
The list given above is preliminary and should be added to, and the details must be updated regularly.
Let your loved ones know and be aware of these details, so that in any unfortunate circumstance, they are not made to deal with any additional financial burden.