A Life File (or ‘File of Life’) is a document that contains important facts and information about you, your significant others, your properties and vehicles, and your life and health policies. When you pass, your executor is able to use this information to efficiently wrap up your affairs.
Please note that a Life File is an important companion to a Will and a Letter of Wishes . Each document provides different details and directions and one cannot replace the other.
What goes into a Life File?
So what exactly goes into one? Usually, a thorough Life File asks for the following information:
- Your particulars
- The location of your Will
- Information on your chosen Executor
- Your next-of-kin’s particulars
- Your spouse’s particulars (if applicable)
- Your children’s particulars (if applicable)
- A copy of your ID
- Insurance details
- Pension details
- Medical aid details
- Any other policies
- Banking and investment account details
- Vehicle registration details
- Property details
As you can see in the list above, you should aim to include all necessary information for accessing and then closing or passing on important accounts and properties.
How much detail is needed in your Life File?
The level of detail required for each section of your file is only what is sufficient for your executor to access and wrap up your affairs upon your passing. This usually includes specifics like an institution’s name, your policy number, and your password. Sometimes it asks for information like an address, or the location of a vehicle’s log book.
Marsh Fidelity has created its own downloadable template here to help you include all the relevant details.
*Note that there’s space for any extra notes in each section should you like to add any.
It’s a once-off effort
The great thing about this file is that you do it once, and then you can rest assured that such matters are sorted.
You will only need to revisit this document should something change (like you move home or have another child). It’s important to keep the details in your Life File up-to-date for it to have full value.
Purchase a Life File from us
Why not work on your Life File right now and get that job done and dusted? You can purchase and download our easy-to-use Life File template here.
I recommend storing your completed File (along with your Will, Title Deed and car Logbooks) in a designated safe space. If you have a safety box, that’s the perfect place for it. Note that you should only share the location of this safe space (or the combination for the safety box) with your significant other and your executor.
As always, if anything is unclear or you’d like some further information, please feel free to get in touch!