We always take things for granted. As a child we get used to things being provisioned by parents, at times even before we demand it. Most of us have grown in the protective environment with everything being taken care by parents. As we grow up we take our life partners our jobs for granted. We get used to a way of life, both personal and professional, and take it for granted that life will always go on same way.
This is truer for the married ladies who become overtly dependent on their husbands for all their need specially, financial. In Indian subcontinent, most married ladies prefer to be home makers and hardly take interest in the financial management, even the husbands falter and fail to educate the ladies in this aspect. The ladies are not aware of the investments, loans repayment, bank nominations, insurances, property related documents. These are all managed by the husbands. Most of us fail to make and register a ‘WILL’. God forbid, if life takes an unfortunate turn and the husband suddenly passes away the entire family suffers for no fault of theirs. Pain of loss of a husband/ son/ parent can be further compounded if the financial/ insurance / property documents have not been managed well.
The common mistakes which normally most people do are failure to open joint bank accounts or earmarking a nominee authorised to operate the account in the event of death of the main account holder.
The wife/ parents are not aware of the loans taken. Most of us do the mistake of not insuring the home loans, as it increases the value of monthly instalments. If the loan is insured then in the unfortunate event of passing away of the payee the insurance company repays the entire balance amount and the family doesn’t suffer.
The property is registered only in the name of one person and with his passing away the legal hassles of taking over the property starts for the wife/ family. It’s better to have a joint registration of the property to avoid any legal hassles or have a registered ‘WILL” nominating the person to whom the property will pass on.
There is hardly anyone who prepares and registers a proper ‘WILL”. WILL is not talked about or discussed in the Indian families as it relates to death and division of property. Wisdom lies in preparing a detailed WILL and registering it. This will save the survivors from legal hassles and financial loss.
Common things like Digital locker/ Internet banking passwords are lot known to the survivors and does take a prolonged exercise to hold of the new passwords and bank account operating rights. Prudence is in maintaining a physical record of all passwords and user names in a diary, not just on the laptop.
All financial documents should be kept safely and the spouse/ parents should be aware of it. If possible, make two copies and keep at two different places just to cater for accidents. Record to be kept securely online also and in digital locker.
Home makers should be educationally/ professionally qualified to take on the mantle of the ‘Bread winner’ when the need arises. Ability to drive a vehicle is a must.
What I have discussed above is the worst which one can go through in life. People go wrong even in basics, just don’t plan or visualise the future before taking a plunge. You will see numerous cases of newly wed couples trying to settle down in life as early as possible. They get themselves overburdened with loans in the quest to acquire luxuries of life and a sweet home. Banks happily disburse loans based on the present income of the couple. Caution is thrown to the winds while taking loans and people fail to visualise the scenario that will happen if for some reason the job is terminated. No job is guaranteed in private sector. This has happened in many families with jobs getting terminated at short notices, business failing and then they have no way of re-payment of big loans they had taken and lose out on whatever they had acquired. More importantly they end up losing peace of mind. Patience, planning, visualisation, bit of caution is must in life; nothing happens overnight.
“Life takes unexpected turns, enjoy it as long as you can but be always prepared to face any unfortunate eventuality. Strengthen your shoulders when you have the time, you won’t have to look for outside support even in the worst contingency”