What to organise before you die
Before you die you can make decisions about your funeral, who looks after your children and what happens to the things you own after you die. You can also organise your finances, including insurance and unpaid debt.
Creating a will
You can write down your decisions in a will. A will could record:
- what kind of funeral you want
- whether you want to be buried or cremated
- who will look after your children
- who your money, property and things you own will be given to.
You can make a will yourself, or you can get a lawyer or the Public Trust to create it. The will should be dated and for it to be legal it needs to be:
- in writing
- witnessed by 2 people who aren’t in the will
- signed by the witnesses, and
- signed by you.
You can get a lawyer to check that your will has been witnessed correctly.
Organise your finances
Insurance, such as life, health and funeral, can protect you and your family financially. If you get sick, or you die suddenly, you or your family could get money to cover costs.
Unpaid bills and debt
Most debts, such as credit cards, mortgages and loans, need to be paid back after you die. Things that you own, for example your house or car, could be sold to pay back your debt.
If you have any joint debt, such as a joint credit card, it will become the responsibility of the other person to pay it back after you die.
Your debt won’t be given to your children but they may miss out on their inheritance if you have debt that needs to be paid back.
Organise your important documents
Important documents, such as your birth certificate and insurance policies, need to be easily found after you die. You can tell someone in your family where you keep them, or give copies to your lawyer.