The Death Note

Every couple and family should have a document that explains what to do and who to contact when they die.

Here’s how I would start mine.-

“ Sorry I am dead.

The people that will be most helpful are…..”

Nobody wants to think about this which is why the note started with a little humour. But it’s important to take these matters seriously. People convince themselves they’ll never have to deal with the unthinkable happening to their partner, until they do. It’s difficult emotionally to put yourself in anyone’s shoes who has been there, but what’s clear is that the amount of administrative work that’s dumped on them at the worst possible time is considerable.

The death note does not replace a will and lasting power of attorney (LPA). You will need these as well. You will have a very tough time in court relying on a death note to do the job of a will and LPA.

The death note however helps your partner take control of things when everything feels out of control. You could include for example-

1) A list of People who are important to help your partner deal with the admin related to your death. Solicitor/will writer, financial adviser, accountant, business contacts, close friends

2) Important Log in information and passwords- for everything you use. Banks, fund platforms, pension fund log ins, Premium bonds, utility apps, streaming services.

3) Social media account log ins- LinkedIn Facebook etc.

4) Small things like where to find the spare keys, any physical life insurance documents, car registration details etc.

5) Obviously wills/LPAs, expressions of wishes

Most importantly – these documents aren’t static. They’re living things that need to be updated at least once a year and after any major life event.  Don’t view this as depressing but rather reassurance that you’ve done everything in your power to make things easy as possible for your family. Advisers are also invaluable at this point as they can take care of the money side of things especially when the surviving spouse has not been involved so far..

It’s an act of love -not fear.



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