Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Expats, Death & How to Plan


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans", John Lennon's words should ring true in all our ears.

As an expat you can never predict when your next journey home will be, especially when you have a loved one at death’s door.  I have had many conversations with expats around a parent being ill and when it would be the right time to go home.  In response, there is never a right time.

Many expat friends have arrived home just a day too late or their parent passed on after they had left to return to their assignments, very few were there at the “right” time. 

I was one of the lucky one’s, my one sister arrived one day before, while my other sister arrived 12 hours too late. I left for home 4 weeks earlier than planned, my mother via Skype had seemed chipper and coping well. She was diagnosed with cancer in June 2010 and we had returned home every six months to visit, never knowing if we would see her again.  This time, my aunt, who was visiting insisted that I come home earlier, I had one week with my mother before she passed away.  I will be forever grateful for that time.

However, although you cannot plan to be at your parent or loved one’s deathbed, there are certain courses of action you can plan for.  My sisters and I found that, even though my parents had often spoken about when they passed on, their plans and course of action, that in reality there were no “real” plans to follow.  We had to muddle through figuring out who to contact with the news (other than family), what funeral arrangements were required, what documents needed to go where and to whom, it was a mess. My parents were not well organized and we realized that our father had been living in denial, even though they were aware that our mother would not recover.  

Our father was overwhelmed with grief and during the week following my mother’s death, he was unable to function or help us with any course of action.  In normal circumstances dealing with death is in itself difficult, coming from all over the world, we initially felt lost. 

To avoid the frustrations that we faced, what you need is a “Plan”. Not only for when you lose a loved one but also for yourself.  Is your spouse aware of what plans to follow and do you have a friend in your assigned country who knows who to contact if something happens to you?

I have outlined a course of action to take and a question/answer sheet for both circumstances.  If anyone has any further suggestions to make on these sheets please feel free to comment or email me and I will adjust the contents and repost. If you would like to receive the below document in a MS-Word format, please comment or email me at denise@xpatulator.com.


I have posted the PARENT Inventory Requirements below and will post the EXPAT Inventory Requirements tomorrow.

  

INFORMATION and INVENTORY REQUIREMENTS for your Parent / Relatives at home

1.      When the person has passed on, a doctor or emergency service should be contacted immediately.  
2.      A letter pronouncing the death should be completed by one of the above.
3.      The coroner or funeral home/parlour should be contacted to collect the body.
4.      Arrangements can then be made with the funeral parlour with regards completing official forms.
5.      The funeral parlour should be able to complete and hand in any official forms on your behalf e.g. Lodging the Death Certificate with the relevant State/Government Department, as well as certify Identity documents and death certificates.
6.      Certified Copies of the Identity documents, Passports and Death Certificate should be kept in a safe place. These may be required to close personal accounts.
7.      In the case of a parent passing on the below form should be filled for a course of action to be followed by surviving family members. This document should be distributed to relevant individuals and kept in a safe place.
8.      Delete any sections that are irrelevant and add in sections that may have been left out and which are appropriate for the country you a citizen of.


Personal Details:
Full Name:______________________________________________________

ID Number:_____________________________________________________

Passport Number:________________________________________________


Essential Friends, relatives, neighbors and colleagues to be contacted in the event of my death:
Name:
Relationship:
Contact Details: Tel/Email


















 

Where I have placed my will:_______________________________________

Where I keep my ID book:_________________________________________

Organ Donor:_____________________ Living Will:____________________

Guardianship of my children:_______________________________________
(if applicable)

My pets need:____________________________________________________


Funeral Details:
Place of worship:_________________________________________________

Requests regarding burial / cremation and scattering of ashes:______________
_______________________________________________________________

Preferred funeral arrangements:______________________________________
_______________________________________________________________

Payment options for funeral:
Burial Scheme / Funeral Policy:______________________________________

Financial Details:
Income tax number:________________________________________________

Auditors:_________________________________________________________

E-mail:__________________________________________________________

Tel:_____________________________________________________________


Employment / Sources of income details:
Employer:_______________________________________________________

Tel:_____________________________________________________________

Company policies:_________________________________________________

Company benefits:_________________________________________________

Bank account:
Institution:_______________________________________________________

Account number:__________________________________________________

Type of account:___________________________________________________

Account details:___________________________________________________

Insurance:
Institution:_______________________________________________________

Account number:__________________________________________________

Type of account:___________________________________________________

Account details:___________________________________________________

Investments:
Institution:_______________________________________________________

Account number:__________________________________________________

Type of account:___________________________________________________

Account details:___________________________________________________

Policies:
Institution:_______________________________________________________

Account number:__________________________________________________

Type of account:__________________________________________________

Account details:___________________________________________________

Pension Funds:
Institution:_______________________________________________________

Account number:__________________________________________________

Type of account:__________________________________________________

Account details:___________________________________________________

Unit Trusts
Institution:_______________________________________________________

Account number:__________________________________________________

Type of account:__________________________________________________

Account details:___________________________________________________

Loans:
Institution:_______________________________________________________

Account number:__________________________________________________

Type of account:___________________________________________________

Account details:___________________________________________________

Shares:
Institution:_______________________________________________________

Account number:__________________________________________________

Type of account:___________________________________________________

Account details:___________________________________________________

Off shore assets:
Institution:________________________________________________________

Account number:___________________________________________________

Type of account:____________________________________________________

Account details:____________________________________________________

Accounts to be paid up and closed:
NAME
Account Details
Account Number
Contact Details: Tel / Email
Doctor 1



Doctor 2



Dentist



Pharmacy



Credit card



Clothing



Telephone



Cell phone



Pay TV



Security





Ownership Documents:
Car Lease:__________________________________________________________



Residential Property:
Property Number
Deed in name of
Bank
Tel
Mortgage Account Number











If bonded the bank will hold the deed if not state where the title deed is kept:

Mortgage / Life Insurance
Insurer:______________________________________________________________

Policy Number:_______________________________________________________

E-mail:______________________________________________________________

Tel:_________________________________________________________________

Details of Rates and Taxes Account / Body Corporate / Managing Agents:
Details:______________________________________________________________

Contact:_____________________________________________________________

Account number:______________________________________________________

E-mail:______________________________________________________________

Tel:_________________________________________________________________

Other:_______________________________________________________________

Details of Timeshare:
Resort:_______________________________________________________________

Tel:__________________________________________________________________

Ref / Account number:___________________________________________________

RCI / Other:___________________________________________________________

Tel:__________________________________________________________________

Medical Insurance:
Name of Medical Insurance:_______________________________________________

Tel:__________________________________________________________________

Account / Ref Number:_______________________________________________________________

Details of Executor:
Name of Institution:______________________________________________________

Name of Person:_________________________________________________________

If person state ID number:_________________________________________________

If Institution state Account / Ref Number:_____________________________________

E-mail:________________________________________________________________

Tel:___________________________________________________________________

Details of Administrator of Trust:
Details of Trustee:_______________________________________________________

Institution:_____________________________________________________________

Contact Details:_________________________________________________________


Housekeeper employees details, contract, UIF/Social Security etc: 
Full name:_____________________________________________________________

Tel:__________________________________________________________________

ID Number:____________________________________________________________

UIF/Social Security Number:_______________________________________________

Other Details:___________________________________________________________


Details of Firearms, locations of licences and access to safe:
Firearms:________________________________________________________________

Licences:________________________________________________________________

Safe:____________________________________________________________________



Computer logins:
Account
Login
Password
Other
Email



Facebook



Twitter



Etc




Note any other items that have not been mentioned on this list, e.g. details of CC, Partnership agreements, ante nuptial contracts, divorce agreements, hiring or letting contracts, safe keys / combinations, passwords for computer, where the gold is buried, etc.


                                                                WITNESS 1                      WITNESS 2


Name:_____________________    Name:____________________     Name:_______________



Signature:__________________     Signature:_______________     Signature:______________


Date:_______________________    Date:____________________     Date:_________________


Regard this as a legal document, initial each page and get your witnesses to initial alongside you. Once this document has been completed, keep the original in a safe place and distribute copies to the relevant family or friends. Let them know where the original document is, for future legal requirements.