Invaluable ‘handy-to-know’ lessons and insights from business and domestic life, presented by Eddie Lees

founder of Now Sorted

Where Complexity is Expensive Secure Simplicity is Needed

When we start out, everything is so simple; then life happens and before long we become trapped by an overload of critical family information and documents—ignoring them isn’t the solution. But here’s something that is.

When my wife and I married, we didn’t tell anyone for a week and then eloped to Australia. After five weeks by ship from Britain, we arrived in Melbourne with an almost empty suitcase, passports, and the clothes we stood up in.

We didn’t know a soul, had no jobs to come to, yet were enthusiastic, optimistic and deliriously happy. Our adventure had begun.

We are still married, still amazed that we survived and, in a tiny, tiny way, were able to contribute to the Australian dream.

As with most couples of our generation we wanted to experience life and build one together. Within a very short time, we had good jobs, were beginning to save and, two years later had our first child: son Michael.

we had become attached. And, yes, like every well-intentioned husband and father, I promised that I’d get around to it … but not right now. There were other priorities and life was demanding enough—I’d do it when I found some time. Sound familiar?

Then I had a heart attack.

Days later, I woke up in an intensive-care unit. Slowly emerging from the fog of heavy anaesthetics, in the darkness I began to think: ‘What if I don’t get out of here? How is Anne going to find our Will, our Power-of-Attorney? Our financial records? Our assets and liabilities? Our bank details? Our secret numbers and passwords?

I had taken responsibility for the ’estate’ side of our lives … and she wouldn’t have a clue. I was in a mental panic. How could I have been that careless and stupid?

“We went from sweet simplicity…to life’s complexities and to secure simplicity once again.

We transferred to Sydney, then bought a home (friends called it a shoebox).

Inside five years, we had second son, John, a bank account, loan application forms, the boys’ birth certificates to add to our own—and shortly after that, we had mortgage documents, title deeds and driving licences. Oh, yes, and insurance policies, both for our lives and our very modest cars.

Accumulating family information and documentation was underway. Later we started a business; a lawyer and accountant became involved, adding more information and documents in the form of agreements, leases, tax records, and the like.

Over the next few years, we moved house a couple of times; so, as well as furniture and all the other trappings of increasingly busy lives, we also had to move the accumulated paper work and all the related information.

With Anne looking after a busy household, it fell to me to organise all the ‘stuff’ to which

Once home (I had been very lucky) the job to fix these vitally important issues began. Friends encouraged me to make the solution commercial—because they (and clients and colleagues) faced exactly the same issues.

The dedicated team that is behind Now Sorted has taken it through several iterations since the original version in 2006 —each one dedicated to making it superior in every way to other online solutions.

We’ve expanded beyond documents so that people can record and upload their assets and liabilities, guarantees, insurance policies, cash flow, important numbers and details of important people— in short, all the components of busy lives. In addition, such joyful items as grandkids award certificates and photos are there too.

Information and documents have continued to grow, but everything has been simplified and, being online, it’s all instantly accessible. And, for the record, it’s all underpinned by 10 extremely high security protocols.

We built in a one-click Crucial Facts Report & Directory that ties it all together and is easily shareable if required.

The pleasure now reflects what sweet simplicity was like all those years ago.