Life Documents: What You Need and Why

It can often be challenging to determine which life documents are needed for different processes, let alone how to organise them effectively. But it doesn’t need to be daunting. We’re here to help you take control of what’s important to you.

Life documents - they’re inevitable. It can be challenging to determine which documents you might need, let alone where to begin with organising them. From property portfolios to cash ISAs, family mortgages and anything else to do with your personal and business finances, there’s a lot of paper involved. 

But it doesn’t need to be daunting. We’re here to help you take control of what’s important to you.  

Everyone has crucial life documents, not just big businesses or institutions, so it’s vital to organise a filing and storing system to help you stay on top of their day-to-day management. You want to ensure your life documents are in the best shape, financially speaking, of course. 

Whether it’s a buy-to-let mortgage, help with a land mortgage calculator or anything to do with stocks and shares and even cryptocurrency, we’ve got you covered. If you need a little extra support in understanding just what documents you might need for any aspect of your work or personal endeavours, we’ve put a handy guide together to help! 

Property 

When renting or taking on some form of property ownership, we receive certain process documents to help consolidate such an agreement. But how many of us, when put on the spot, know exactly where they are? 

There are various types of property and ownership - including residential freehold and leasehold, commercial property, land, and farming properties, to name but a few. It's essential to keep a hold of property-related documents, as they can enable you to better position yourself if you buy again in the future, or for insurance claims and proof of residency. There are many documents you may require, including: 

Deeds:  
  • A housing deed is an official document that confirms the property has been transferred into your ownership from the previous owner. 
Reports and Certificates:
  • Typically, housing reports and similar certificates provide information on the current - and all-important - truthful condition of the home. This can encompass areas such as energy and structural conditions.
Agreements:
  • Agreement documents typically refer to mutual agreements between the previous owner or landlord and the current tenant or owner, consolidated in a contract format. 
Statements: 
  • A house statement is usually a document provided by a conveyancer, which essentially acts as a bill that needs to be paid before completing a house sale. 
Receipts: 
  • Receipts often provide physical clarity and proof of transactions made regarding the home, whether throughout the buying process or in the event of renovations. 
Insurances:
  • Home insurance is an often overlooked yet essential attribute to homeownership, and it is integral to keep a note of what your coverage includes in the event of any incidents. 

Mortgage 

Following on from this, if you become a homeowner, it is crucial to keep consistent and organised records of your mortgage proceedings. As well as ensuring you have access to any information at the drop of a hat - no matter the query - this also means that you know where to look if you need to make a claim or renegotiate the terms of your mortgage agreement. 

When it comes to mortgage agreements, it’s good to familiarise yourself with the key life documents associated with these. Two of the most common types of mortgage agreements are residential and buy-to-let, which both call for these life documents:  

Annual Statements 
  • An annual mortgage statement provides essential information on the mortgage loan status, activity on the account, and the financial obligations of the current owner. 
Mortgage Agreements 
  • A mortgage agreement is the official document proving any mutual agreement between the former owner or company who is selling the property and the current owner. 

Business 

As well as potentially owning property, you may also have ownership or partial ownership of a business. This means - yep, you might have guessed it, various integral documents and files to make sure all is in working order. As such, keeping track of them can be a momentous task. 

Typical types of businesses you may choose to get involved with include sole trader, partnership, a private limited company (Ltd) or a public limited company (Plc). Anyone can own shares or own one of these companies, but it is important to keep track of documents to avoid confusion or discrepancies later. Some of the more common types of business documents include:  

Insurance:
  • Every business is expected to have varying degrees of insurance, whether it be to protect the business from harm or protect its employees' safety. It is vital to maintain clear and accurate records of insurance if the unfortunate event where a claim is required. 
Tax and Accounting 
  • Every business should have an efficient financial management system, and crucially, they must also pay any tax owed. Accurate financial records will help to keep things ticking along smoothly. 
Self-Assessment 
  • A self-assessment is an HMRC-required report used to determine and collect income tax. Luckily, there are accounts around in abundance to help with this type of report, as it can be a little tricky knowing where to begin when you first need to file. 
Agreements 
  • Any agreements made with employees, other firms, or suppliers must be documented. Not only is this a requirement of doing any business, but it’s also something you’ll want for your peace of mind 
Certificates 
  • Many businesses operating within a specialist industry will require certifications to prove the expertise and quality of their work.  

National Savings or Investments  

We all want to save money effectively and, luckily, there are a whole host of ways to do so. Whether you want to help your money grow by way of premium bonds or an ISA, or want to try and mitigate against a potential shopping splurge - national savings accounts, we’re looking at you. There are valuable other ways to protect and nurture your financial assets.  

Typically, savings and investment accounts provide you with regular statements and are consolidated with an agreement to confirm your ownership of the account. This is where you’ll want to make sure your filing technique is on top form, as keeping up-to-date financial reports make the dreaded tax report (and general reporting) a little more bearable.  

Stocks or Shares 

Buy. Sell. Hold? If the prospect of stocks and shares seems a little daunting to you, you’re not alone. Accessibility to stocks and shares has drastically changed over the years, as technology has become more prominent within our lives. One of the upsides has led to many people investing in listed and unlisted stocks to potentially grow their finances. Quids in, right? 

Well, yes. If you make sure you maintain up-to-date financial and deposit records of any activity you undertake within the stock market. 

Typically, those who are purchasing stocks and shares will receive:  

Certificates
  • A stocks or shares certificate is a legal document stating your ownership of a designated amount of shares in a company. This confirms your right to own and use these stocks or shares. 
Dividend Payments 
  • Those involved within the stock market will often purchase shares of a company that offers dividend payments on a quarterly or annual basis. These are typically confirmed through a financial statement. 
Reports 
  • A stocks or shares report is an interim report, providing information on the activity occurring within the investment pool. This is often contributed to by several investors and institutions so you’ll want to make sure you get it right.  

Current Personal Finance 

In order to get a clear picture of your current financial situation, there are several documents which it is beneficial to keep track of, including:   

Bank Accounts 
  • Anyone who has a bank account knows the amount of paperwork that can go into setting one up. It’s important to keep a hold of sign-up documents, bank statements and general letters from your bank. This includes savings and investment accounts. 
Loans 
  • Whether its student loans, small loans or even family loans, having a good idea of the money you owe can help you to better prepare and set up repayment plans. That means keeping hold of any loan-related documents for future reference.  
Valuable Items 
  • Things like cars, jewellery, watches and technology are an often overlooked but essential part of your personal finance. They retain value and contribute massively to your overall net worth, and with Auderli’s assets feature, you can upload and store them in your financial portfolio. 
Work 
  • If you’re starting a new job, or even have been in your career for a while, it’s important to store and organise work-related documents such as contracts, P45s and payslips in case you ever have an issue or query.  

Future Personal Finance 

A huge aspect of financial planning is ensuring that everything is in order for your own future and retirement and for the financial security of your loved ones if you ever aren’t around. None of us like to plan for the worst, but with Auderli it is easy and quick, and allows you to have peace of mind so that you can focus on enjoying the present. Some future personal finance categories include: 

Pensions 
  • Keeping all of your pension related documents organised, such as annual pension statements, helps you stay on top of how much you have saved so far and gives you a more accurate projection of your future pension income. You may have different pensions from several companies, and its useful to store these all in one place. 
Wills 
  • If you have written a will, then it can be beneficial to upload this onto a platform such as Auderli, so that you can securely share it with loved ones for easy access and reference when needed.  
Life Insurance 
  • It is always beneficial to keep track of documents relating to life insurance payments and prospective payouts, for peace of mind and for easy access to information when needed.    

The Bottom Line  

It's inevitable, there are hundreds of different life documents that you may need throughout your journey, and often just locating them can be tricky enough. 

But, don't despair! We have an alternative for you. Here at Auderli, we can help you structure your life documents and store them together in a confidential and accessible way - without any additional stress. We're here so that you don't need to have files and documents all over the place - and to help you better understand your personal finances.  

Whether it's your personal or business finances that need organising, our useful tools and tips alongside our diverse range of digital filing opportunities are here to help. Gone are the days of the dreaded physical file and the mountains of paper to sift through just to find that one document from years back that you never thought you would need. 

Auderli is for everyone and we want to help you harness the power of our tools in order to benefit you. Don’t delay. Get in touch with us and sign up today to work out how we can make your life document needs that little bit easier.