Things to remember to tell your nearest and dearest

This subject is very pertinent to my family situation at the moment… and I am sure that it might just jog the memories of some on this forum…

I’ll kick this off…

Where is the Will/Testament?
Where are the Life Insurance Policies?

Is there a trusted friend or family member of the deceased who might be willing, given a list of other friends who might wish to know of the death, to let those individuals know in simple but sympathetic terms, by proxy? If necessary such a message might mention any funeral plans, or inform them that the funeral has already occured etc

Such a friend might also indicate whether or when the bereaved would be ready and grateful for tributues to be paid or commiserative visits arranged etc. Not an easy topic to handle, but it can be very supportive in some circumstances e.g if the bereaved partner lives alone and feels overwhelmed by grief, and unable to undertake this sad undertaking herself.


Just come up with another beauty… what is the combination of the safe… ??

Tears or laughter… not sure which at this point… :roll_eyes::thinking:

Daughter is on the phone and I’m Googling for ideas … :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Knowledge of that, bank card PINs, and laptop and mobile passwords might well go designedly to the grave! :no_entry::no_entry_sign::warning:️:no_mobile_phones::zipper_mouth_face::joy:

I reckon the “emergency keys” are in the safe… :roll_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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My Dad was organised his whole life and when he was diagnosed with cancer he made a list of all his assets including the ones that might be overlooked.

So, bank accounts, ISAs, insurance policies, pensions to be inherited by spouse, premium bonds etc. He also made sure his filing cabinet was properly organised and even had a file with his driving licence, passport, Will etc.

We also found little notes in each file telling us which paperwork was important after his death. No one knew he had done this and it broke my heart to think of him doing this all alone. I wondered what he must have been thinking while he was doing this.

It helped us enormously with sorting everything out after he died. It made a terrible time just a little easier.


He sounds a wonderful man, Mandy… :hugs::hugs:

Brother had 3 years to get his act together… I’ll give him what-for when we meet again… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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He was Stella, he really was. I still miss him so much. :cry:


When I read my dad’s letter/papers whatever… I can still hear his voice… it is as if he is standing beside me…

Your Dad is still with you in so many ways… I am sure… :hugs:


My mother was too organised. She basically went through everything and threw out anything she felt was not important. So we lost all records of my fathers’ parents including where their graves are in South Africa, everything that relates to her life before she arrived in England during the war, all sorts of things that we would have loved to have. Luckily she valued photos so she didn’t trash them.

So yes, do prepare an information pack with the ‘important’ stuff in it - bit don’t forget to make sure that the other types of important stuff aren’t somewhere that could be overlooked.

Age concern and other organisations like that have useful checklists.


Is there no way of tracing the burial records via Jane…???

Maybe…no idea what that covers.

All we know is that she had a piece of paper saying when the lease on the graves was going to run out, but we think she just threw it away rather than replied or extended the lease. So we don’t even know which graveyard, and the family name is a very common one. One of my BILs is into genealogy so I will ask him whether he’s signed up to

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I am currently working on with my siblings, my brother has had his DNA test done and it it brilliant.

75% Birmingham roots
21% northern Irish roots
These did not surprise us in the least
Born to a Birmingham father.
Mother born in Northern Ireland, she came to England when 3 months old
Wait for it :blush::blush::blush::blush::blush:
4% Scandinavian lol lol bloody Vikings :blush::blush::blush::blush: ravishing in Ireland
Interesting though, he actually lives in Stockholm for the last 30 years or more, he went back to his roots unknowingly haha
Unfortunately due to taking chemo I cannot have the test done, trying to persuade the sisters lol lol
We are looking up the family history on both sides and get great results very interesting too,!
So very real and intersting things come up

Stella , it’s good to have everything prepared for the people left behind, I believe as you wills and insurance are very important… combinations for the safe would be handy lollol.

I am sorry if you have lost your brother? Or have I misunderstood. Oh dear !!


It’s OK… Anne… brother was so very ill at the end, that we had almost run out of tears … and he has left so much chaos…we just have to laugh …

My daughter has had to destroy his wardrobe to get at his (very safe) safe… … hammer and chisel to the “works” … gave up in disgust…then found the “key” in the utensil drawer in his kitchen :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::thinking:

I would love to do the DNA test… perhaps one day…

PS: nothing exciting in the safe… nothing of any import, which makes us wonder if he had a second one put in… :thinking:

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@Ann Interesting article about using DNA testing this morning

After all the formalities are over involving documents, passwords, keys etc. as listed above, what will be missing are the memories – much more important in the long run. Ensure your Nearest and Dearest write the names etc. on the back of the old photos and, if possible, write down (or dictate) any “memoirs” of their life and work when they were young, their family long gone, where to find any relevant material, which items are heirlooms etc.

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I did get my Dad started on that… but he only marked a few photos… the fun over the last 20 years, has been deciding who everyone is… :wink:

Thankfully, he was often asked to speak, in public, about his wartime experiences and I have all his drafts… plus, in another situation, he did do a lovely talk based on his early life on the family farm…

I keep promising myself to get it all typed-up… and maybe I will, this winter… :thinking:

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There is a very good encrypted website called Keepass and you can type in the details of all sorts of things (where to find the keys to the safe, bank account details and passwords, personal information about employee/pension, internet site passwords etc) in fact anything you want / need to remember yourself without writing it somewhere. You just need to have told someone your password for the Keepass and they can find all the details they need.

My elder son died suddenly aged 41 at the end of January, while we were visiting the family in the UK. Fortunately his wife was the one who kept the household records, and the finances were swiftly dealt with. He was a computer engineer, so the technology is taking longer, and his widow and my younger son, fortunately also an IT buff, managed to find all the passwords she needed to check for techie items like cloud storage, gmail, facebook, mobile phone accounts and so on. We also checked most of his computers (well into double figures) for photos and files, consolidating data onto a 1Tb external drive.

Paperwork is important, but if you do, as we have done, make a list of contacts, account numbers and passwords, don’t forget to point your family towards important files on your computer/tablet/phone including links to the cloud. If the family aren’t as expert as you with the technology, a short idiot guide to logging in to each service may be helpful.

The Will may tell them all what to do with your property, but what about your possessions, heirlooms, art? Late Ma made a list, and even tied brown card labels to things she didn’t want Pa to give away, ensuring I knew the provenance of all jewellery, china, silver etc. That may be taking things a bit far, but it was a help when I came to sell items at auction, provenance ups the price a bit.

If you own a web domain, ensure the family can maintain it - I have taken over my son’s domain for old time’s sake, just a letter to the service provider with a scan of his death cert was needed. Take a backup of your Facebook data from time to time, too. Many people complain that FB closed a loved-one’s page down after they died, losing all the funny comments people make about each others news and photos. (However our son’s page remains unaffected, filled with tributes from family, friends, colleagues and clients).

Younger son came over with his family a couple of weeks ago, and we apologised in advance for the cost of skip hire he will need when we are both gone. He will cope fine with the cars and the contents of the garages/workshops, but what about the 2 x 1/12 scale dollshouses, the Royal Brierley Crystal, the Poole Pottery, some of which is worthless, some very valuable. Time to set to and make our own lists, clearly! Also, perhaps, time to give a lot of it away, if we no longer get it out of the cupboard.

Good luck everyone, plenty of work involved in simplifying matters for your families. I’ve cleared houses for great aunts, both sets of grandparents and both my parents already, and in every case the worst stage is emptying the loft. We face that task when our daughter-in-law is ready, but much of what Graham stored there came from our home and his childhood, so we aren’t in any hurry either.