Death and Taxes

November, 2020

Author: Jim Sutherland

We all spend a lot of time working out, avoiding and paying taxes but how much do we think about that other great inevitability – our demise? The recent untimely death in Hong Kong of a longstanding client of Zetland has left a real administrative headache with no local relatives and no trace of a will. And it has been impossible to access the deceased’s telephones, computers or cloud storage because there is no written record of passwords.

I can recommend the Zetland Personal Information Log (“PIL”) which is intended to facilitate the location of important documents and information in the event of death or incapacity. Its main purpose is to help with the practical difficulties of organising matters at a time when close relatives may be distressed.

Zetland’s PIL may be used simply as an aide memoire; printed as a hard copy document (and manually completed) or used as an updatable electronic document in pdf format. In the latter case the PIL should be password protected and stored securely.

Zetland’s PIL is not a Will and should not be regarded as such. It should not contain instructions about what should be done with money or possessions. It is simply a record of where key personal records, assets and papers can be located. If you have not made a Will, you are strongly advised to do so and Zetland can assist in drafting Wills.

It is suggested that a responsible adult is made aware of the existence/location of this PIL (and access password if used) and/or a copy should be given to a close relative/executor or trusted professional adviser as a precaution against a common calamity. It is important that the PIL be kept up to date for material changes.

The PIL can be accessed at here

Zetland Tax