Tidying up before the year end
With the silly season in full swing, year-end Xmas parties all over the place and the holiday booked – why not set things up for next year. This probably isn’t the time to make big changes – unless you’re having a ‘staycation’ like me. So let’s look at the small things you can do:
- Are copies of all your important documents in one place? I call this my ‘Red File’. It has copies of policies, investment statements, Wills, ID’s, Med aid info, Short term schedules, trust or property deeds etc. Basically it will point anyone in the family to all the important information in one file. You can get a free template of the 10 page insert for an A4 file HERE
- Is your Will up-to-date? If you don’t have one, PLEASE get one in place ASAP. Dying intestate is a very bad idea for dependants, especially minor children. I can help you get in place quickly, and free of charge. If you want to find out more about Wills, go HERE for a free eBook.
- Are your policy beneficiaries up-to-date? This is especially important if you have divorced/remarried recently. A life policy is a contract between you and the insurer. If you ’forget’ to change a beneficiary and something happens, there is nothing a new spouse or children are going to be able to do about it.
- Are your group benefit nominees up to date?
- Have you started your ‘emergency’ fund? You can do this quickly and very cheaply with some banks ( Capitec for example). An emergency fund should have at least 3 months after tax income. My recommendation is that all spouses have one.
- If you want to change your medical aid plan, you have about a week to do it in, then the window closes till November next year.
- If you missed the eFiling deadline, get the return in before you get more penalties.
- If you’re leaving the country to go on holiday, make sure your Medical aid is informed. Check your travel insurance – it is usually advisable to top this up.
- Will anyone else be driving your car? Lodge it with your short-term insurer.
- Check your car tracker is working? If it isn’t and your car is stolen your entire claim could be repudiated. Check your alarm and electric fence.
- Check the small print on your valuables insurace, especially jewellery. Some insurers will only cover that loss if they are stolen from a safe.
- Cancel paper deliveries and get someone to go around to your house frequently, remove junk mail etc. Ask a neighbour to get your front lawn mowed (you can return the favour when they go away).
- Some insurers will not cover damage from things like geysers if you’re away. Check.
- Unplug all your electronic equipment, TV’s, internet etc to protect from lightning. Switch off geysers.
- It is debatable whether you tell the security company you are away. I will leave it up to you, but I have had good reasons to distrust them in the past (their background checks aren’t as robust as any of would like). Give a trusted neighbour keys so they can check if your alarm goes off.
Author Dawn Ridler