How to put together a ‘Rest in Peace’ folder

Later life planning is about making sure that your wishes are respected, but also making things easier for the loved ones you leave behind. From arranging and paying for your funeral to making a Will, the plans you put in place will be a welcome relief for family or friends when the time finally comes.

Golden Charter can help with later life planning in many ways, but one thing you can do without anyone else’s help is gather together all of the important information that will be needed after your passing.

Age UK calls this a Lifebook, some people call it a ‘Death Dossier’, for others it’s their ‘Rest in Peace’ folder. No matter what name you give it, the point is to remove the need to hunt for documents and information after you’ve gone by putting everything that matters in one place.

At its simplest, all you need to do is put all your important papers in one place. Using a fireproof box or safe is more secure, but a folder or an envelope stored safely away in a drawer is ok.

The most important thing is that the people that matter know where you’ve put them - there’s not much point going to the trouble of organising your affairs if you don’t let the people that need to know, know where everything is.

As well as actual documents, it’s useful to keep an information sheet with important personal details that may be needed when contacting government departments or companies, such as:

  • Full name
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of marriage or civil partnership
  • National Insurance number
  • Employer payroll number
  • Bank accounts
  • GP details
  • Solicitor’s name
  • Utility bills

Access to legal documents is crucial for your executors, although its usual to keep copies and store originals securely with a solicitor. If you are a Golden Charter customer, we can store the originals for you, whether those relate to Wills, Property Protection Trusts or Family Protection Trusts.

Life insurance policies are among the most important documents for your family to have so that the claims process can be handled as quickly and smoothly as possible. It’s also helpful to have details for other insurance policies, home, car and medical, so that the policies can be amended or cancelled.

Proof of ownership documents for cars or properties, stocks and shares and even Premium Bonds are also important. Families don’t always know about everything we own and if they aren’t aware on your passing, assets could go unclaimed.

Surviving spouses will need to know about pensions and marriage licenses can be required to prove entitlement. Divorce settlements can be equally useful. 

Last but not least, make sure you include the details of your funeral plan. As a Golden Charter plan holder you will have received a membership pack containing contact details for your funeral director. Having these in your folder will allow your family to contact the funeral director with your plan details so that they can begin taking care of all the arrangements.

Be sure to check through your important information folder once every year or so to add or amend information. Things change and having all your details up-to-date will make all the difference when it comes time to settle your affairs. This is also a good opportunity to get rid of anything that’s no longer relevant.

It may take you a little time now to gather together everything your family or friends will need when you’re gone, but time spent now could save them time and upset at a point when they least need the stress.

To find out how Golden Charter can help you with later life planning, making your wishes clear and leaving more than happy memories for those you love, visit www.goldencharter.co.uk or call 0800 111 4514.