Letter written by a wife after her husband's death in an accident
"Few things I learnt after my husband's death:-
We always believe we will live forever. Bad things always happen to others.
Only when things hit us bang on your head you realise... Life is so unpredictable....
My husband maintained everything on his laptop. His to do list. His e-bill and his bank statements in his email. Even his log-in IDs and passwords. Even his laptop had a special password full of alpha-numericals and special characters. And though he tried very hard to make me memorize each of his important passwords, each time I merely shrugged it off, knowing he was there to do it.
One morning my hubby expired in a bike accident. He was just 33. His laptop with all his data crashed. Everything on his hard disk wiped off. His mobile with all the numbers on it was smashed. His passwords had gone with him. But that was just the beginning. I realised I had lot to learn.
I needed help. His saving bank accounts, his salary bank accounts had no nominee. On his insurance his mom was the nominee and it was almost 2 years back she had expired. But this was just a start. I didn't know the password to his email account where all his e-bill came. I didn't know which expenses he paid by standing instructions.
The house we bought with all the excitement on a loan thought with our joint salary we could afford the EMI. when the home loans guys suggested insurance on the loan, we decided the instead of paying the premium the difference in the EMI on account of the insurance could be used pay towards prepayment of the loan and get the tenure down. We never thought what we would do if we have to live on a single salary. So now there was huge EMI to look into.
I realised I was in for a long haul. Everywhere I needed a Death certificate, FIR report, Post Mortem report. For everything there were forms running into pages indemnity bonds, notary, surety to stand up for you. No objections certificates from your co-heirs.
I learnt other than your house, your land, Your car, your bike are also your property. So what if you are the joint owner of the flat you don't become the owner just because your hubby is no more. So what if your hubby expired in the bike accident and you are the nominee but if the bike is in a repairable condition .you have to get the bike transferred in your name to claim the insurance. And that was again not easy. The bike or car cannot be transferred in your name without going through a set of legal documents. Getting a Succession Certificate is another battle all together.
Then came the time you realise now you have to start changing all the bills, assets in your name. Your gas connection, electricity meter, your own house, your car, your investments and all sundries. And then change all the nominations where your own investments are concerned. And again a start of a new set of paperwork.
To say I was shaken my whole life had just turned upside down was an understatement. You realise you don't have time to mourn and grieve for the person with whom you spend the best years of your life. Because you are busy sorting all the paper work.
I realised then how much I took life for granted. Lessons learnt this hard way were meant to be shared. After all why should the people whom we love the most suffer after we are no more. Sorting some paperwork before we go will at least ease some of their grief.
Check all your nominations...
It's a usual practice to put a name (i.e in the first place if you have mentioned it) and royally forget about it. Most of us have named our parent as a nominee for investments, bank accounts opened before marriage. We have not changed the same even years after they are no longer there with us. Even your salary account usually has no nomination.. Kindly check all your Nominations.
- Bank Accounts
Fixed Deposits, NSC
Insurance (Life, Bike or Car or Property)
PF Pension Forms
We have passwords for practically everything. Email accounts, Bank accounts, even for the laptop you use. What happens when your next in kin cannot access any of these simply because they do not know your password... Put it down on a paper.
Every year for tax purpose we do investments. Do we maintain a excel sheet about it. If so is it on the same laptop of which the password you had not shared. Where are those physical investments hard copy.
Make a Will. I know you will smile even I would had I not gone through all what I did. It would have made my life lot easier a lot less paperwork. I wouldn't had to provide an indemnity bond, get it notarised, ask surety to stand up, no objections certificates from others...
When you take a loan say for your house or car. Check out on all the what if, what if I am not there tomorrow, what if I lose my job. Will the EMI still be within my range. If not get an insurance on the loan. The people left behind will not have to worry on something as basic as their own house.
My battles have just begun... But let us at least try and make few changes so that our loved ones would not suffer after we go. We do not know what will happen in the future. But “ Be prepared "
There are so many ladies who go through the trauma of losing their spouse, often suddenly and tragically. And then the burden of paperwork and legalities further compounds the grief for the ones they leave behind. You can visit
for detailed information on what is to be done in case of the demise of a husband. It could help in some way.
You could also visit
http://forum.soldier2ndlife.com/t/documents-to-secure-for-a-secure-tomorrow/199 for detailed information on the documents that one should secure during one’s lifetime so that it is easier for our loved ones. Also see
on guidance as to how one should prepare a will. It also has samples of a will.
Please do go through all the links mentioned above. We hope the unthinkable does not happen but should it, perhaps the simple guidelines given can help ease the burden of pain for the loved ones.