We cannot expect our loved ones to remember key information about our financial accounts without a road map of documentation. It is even harder for them if you have numerous financial accounts (banks, investments, custodial accounts, online accounts), accounts that are left untouched for years, or never told that they existed. By listing and organizing your financial accounts, your loved ones will be able to handle the financial matters more easily, should something happen to you. This is even more important if you are the sole breadwinner of the family and access to the funds in your financial accounts are required for daily needs.
Step 1: List all the financial assets you have.
|Type of Financial Assets||Information required|
|Bank Accounts (savings, current, fixed deposits, etc)||Bank
|Safe Deposit Box||Bank and branch
Safe deposit box number
|Investments (Unit Trust/ Mutual Funds)||Account number
Unit Trust company
|Shares & Securities in Singapore Stock Exchange||Trading account number|
|Shares in overseas stock exchange board||Name of stock exchange boards
Trading account number
|Insurance Policies||Insurance company name
|Investments under CPF Investment Scheme||Account number
Unit Trust company
|Dependents' Protection Scheme under CPF||Insurance company name
|Others (e.g. overseas accounts)||Others|
This is not a one-time effort as you will need to review things periodically to keep your financial information up to date.
Step 2: List the loans and mortgages
Do not let your loved ones be caught off guard. Keep track of the loans and mortgages you may have and from which financial accounts you are using for the monthly mortgage payments. This may include property mortgages and car loans.
Step 3: List the services that have automatic deductions
Ensure that you keep track of any services that have automatic monthly payments or GIRO deductions, and the financial accounts that they are linked to. This is to ensure that these services are continually being paid for when the bank accounts are closed or credit cards are stopped. The services may include insurance premiums, utility bills, mobile and internet services, credit card bills and club memberships.
What happens when someone passes away?
Once the bank is notified of the deceased's death, there will be an immediate "freeze" of all the person's accounts. The legal representative (administrator or executor) of the deceased estate or the surviving joint account holder will need to approach the bank to close the accounts. During this period, no withdrawals, including GIRO deductions will be allowed from the accounts.
For joint accounts, the account balance will be given to the surviving account holder once the account is closed. If the account is held in a single account held by the deceased, the legal representative can apply for the release of funds from the bank. You may be required to provide Letters of Administration or Grant of Probate to release the funds to the next-of-kin.