When my Dad passed away unexpectedly from a massive stroke about 18 years ago, we were devastated. He was authoritarian but kind .. almost to a fault. He was very generous in helping out family, friends and even strangers, especially financially. Especially if it had anything to do with education.
Unfortunately, he was not good at keeping records of loans or other transactions.
Moreover, as "head of the household" he did not believe in sharing financial information with us grown children or even my mother.
So when he slumped over in the car and never regained consciousness before he passed away 5 days later, in addition to the shock and grief, came the business of sorting out the financial issues.
My mom did not work outside of the house and bills needed to be paid.
And Indian banks and other financial institutions were a nightmare to deal with.
There was no will. Checkbooks and other documents were scattered all over the place, some misplaced and never found.
He had also started investing in the stock market and there were no clear documents about those investments either.
We somehow cobbled together things and set up payments etc for my mother.
To this day, we know that a lot of money that he loaned to others never got repaid. And I have a sneaky suspicion that some investments and bank accounts have been lost due to his haphazard book keeping.
I am sharing this with you, so you can use this as a cautionary tale.
Do your children and/or spouse or a responsible adult know what's going on in your financial life?
Where you keep important documents?
User ID and password information?
Unexpected things happen in life.
It is never too soon to plan or get organized financially, especially if you have dependents or know what you want to do with your hard earned money after you are gone.
Don't put it off.
It is never too early.
It is an act of love and caring for your family.