31 Mar 2016

Why are all the loose documents not filed?
Would it not have been less stressful if all the house’s documents were kept in a central location, neatly and up to date?

John and Susan’s geyser burst in the early hours of the morning. On top of all the chaos to find the water mains tap and to keep the children out of the water, trying to find the insurance policy ended in a massive argument. Why are all the loose documents not filed? Now Susan has to go through all of their personal documents to find the one she desperately needs.

Would it not have been less stressful if all the house’s documents were kept in a central location, neatly and up to date? Susan would immediately have the necessary contact numbers at her disposal, while Johan sort out the water mains tap.

Why not put a few hours aside out of your schedule in the coming months to create your home’s legacy file or to bring your existing file up to date.

If you start from scratch, buy a ring file with plastic sleeves or a flip file. Each section in your file will be kept in its own pocket and thus can easily be kept up to date with the latest information.

The following are items that can be stored in the file:

1. Information sheet with the contact details of your attorney, broker, Electrician, Plumber, Gardening, Domestic Worker and other service providers so that you do not necessarily have to go to the appropriate bag if you only need a number.
2. Copy / Original Deed of Transfer for your property(ies) – this document is important not only for the sale of your property, but also when plans are drawn up for potential additions.
3. Details of your mortgage bond account(s) on your property(ies)
4. Newest Lease Agreements – where you are the tenant or the landlord
5. Copy of your Deed of Sale
6. Record of any improvements to the property
7. Approved building plans
8. The latest version of your Short Term Insurance Policy – Insurance on the building and its contents
9. Beetle Certificate, Electrical Compliance Certificate; Plumbing Certificate, Electrical Fence Certificate and Gas Certificate
10. The Contract and contact details of your Security Company
11. Details of the swimming pool repair services

The list is not exhausted, make the file your own and expand the list to suit your unique circumstances. The list can even be incorporated into your personal legacy file, which will among other things, contain the following documents:

1. Information sheet with the contact details of your attorney, broker, banker, doctor etc.
2. A copy of your Identity Document
3. A copy of your latest Will – The original will be kept in a safe place in your attorney’s offices
4. Your original Marriage Certificate, Antenuptial Contract, Divorce Order and Settlement Agreement (if applicable)
5. The latest version of all Long-term insurance – eg. Life insurance, disability insurance and mortgage protection cover
7. Details of your funeral policy and benefits, as well as a list of accounts on which you have cover in case of your death
8. Proof of your Equity Portfolio
9. Details of your bank accounts – eg. Your checking account, credit card and savings account.
10. Details of your investments – eg. Investment Account at a bank and endowment policy
11. Proof of any assets of value eg. A coin collection or jewellery
12. Motor Vehicle Registration Documents
13. Your Valid Television License
14. Your cellular phone contract; land line contract and internet service provider contract
15. Details of all retail accounts eg Edgars or House and Home
16. Latest correspondence from the Receiver of Revenue
17. Details of your Pension Fund and -benefits
18. Trust Deed and Letters of Authority of any Trust in which you have an interest
22. Rehabilitation Order
23. Any debt agreement where you owes someone money or where they owes you
24. Details of your Medical Aid and Medical GAP Cover
25. Municipal Account
26. Escom Account or proof of pre-paid electricity
27. DSTV / MNET Contract and contact details
28. Details of your garden services
29. Details of your Domestic Worker

In addition, some of the above documents can also be stored in electronic format. You can adjust your file to consist of both hard copies (of the original documents in your possession, eg. Your original Deed of Transfer) and electronic copies (of the documents that you receive via e-mail eg. your insurance policy). Remember make back-up copies of the electronic files on a regular basis and store same with the hard copies.

There are more than enough unpredictable challenges in our daily lives, do not let your personal administration cause further tension in your life. Start today and take control of your administration, you can even involve the kids too, and before you know it, everything will be up to date and in an easily accessible location.

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