You should make sure that your family - definitely all adults but also older children - are on the same page when it comes to the family's finances. This could come in handy if you fall ill or suffer an accident. While you take care of your family, there are situations where someone else may need to step in and you should make their life as easy as possible.
What are the things your family needs to know?
Here's a list you can get started with. You may have more depending on your specific situations.
#1. Bank accounts bank deposits: Ideally you should only have one bank account per family member. Maintain a list of all bank account numbers, balances (you can update them once in 6 months) and nomination details.
Keep your NetBanking credentials (passwords and Customer ID) in an Excel Sheet, accessible to your family members only.
#2. Investment accounts: Make a list of all your investment accounts (like Scripbox), and brokerage, Demat accounts along with nomination details.
#3. Financial Physical Assets: Details of home ownership, bank lockers, large refundable deposits with institutions other than banks, as well as your provident funds' details.
#4. Loans: If you have loans, the details of loans (car/home, etc.), such as EMI amount to be paid, time remaining to repay the loan, etc.
#5. Credit cards and debit cards: A list of all credit and debit cards, with their respective numbers (on the card), contact details of the card company. If in case a fraudulent event is reported, your family members can block the cards immediately.
#6. Health Insurance Policy: Make a list of your health insurance policies – personal as well as provided by your employer and any top ups. List of network hospitals, co-pay amount, the process of informing the insurance company etc.
#7. Life Insurance Policy: Make a list of your life insurance policies, amount, type of policy, beneficiary, nominee, riders, date of premium payment, date of maturity.
#8. Will: keep your will in a safe place and let your family know where it is.
Additional Tip: Maintain joint bank accounts, so that in the case of an emergency, family members can access the major bank accounts, without having to wait for the approval of the member stuck in the emergency situation.
How do you go about doing this?
There are various ways and you can choose one that you are comfortable with. Someone I know holds a “family meeting” periodically.
Otherwise, simply storing your lists and papers in a single place known to your family can work too. A friend maintains a google sheet and shares it with his family. They don't need to look at it every day but they know where it is.
Ensure that you add contact details wherever possible. A periodic update of balances in your list would also help.
A shared understanding of family finances would also lead to better money decisions all around.
This 10-part weekly series helps you identify and complete a single task every week to take charge of your financial life. Over these 10 tasks, you will know more about your money and how to make it work harder while having to do less work and also worry less.