The fact is, we are all going to die. It’s a harsh fact, yet it’s the truth. Today, we are here and we have an opportunity to choose how we want to leave our affairs to the people who love us and will take over. We can leave our affairs unorganized, chaotic, and difficult to sort out. Or, we can leave our affairs organized and put together. It’s our choice, for now, but one day we will not be able to make that choice. Something will happen and we will not be able to speak to our family to tell them everything that they need to know. For that reason, time is of the essence. If you want to make for an easy transition for the ones you love, sit down and document where your family can locate specific documents and write down the information that they need to know to carry on and wrap up your affairs after your death.
First, make a contact list of people who should be notified at the time of your death. Each of us travels in multiple social circles and it’s probable that your family does not know everyone who should be contacted. You can start with your social media accounts and then add and delete people as appropriate from the initial contact list.
Next, make a list of Emergency information such as who your primary care doctor is, where your health insurance information is located, and where your important legal documents are located. Documents such as your will and health care power of attorney are critical documents that your family will need access to, among others, at a time that you may not be able to communicate their location.
Next, make a list of your important personal and business advisors such as your banker, executor, accountant, financial advisor, insurance agents, and other professionals that you work with. Each of these professionals have a role in assisting your family after your death and will need to be contacted.
Next, document an entire inventory of your financial accounts so that your family knows how to access your accounts. Unclaimed money, after a period of time, will be transferred to the state treasury. Document every life insurance policy, who to contact, and the amount of death benefit. Don’t forget some of the small “freebies” that come with membership to a credit union or an employer.
Next, document all of your real estate holdings and the specific information that will be needed for your family regarding those holdings. If your real estate is titled personally, your family will need to change title. If your real estate is held in a limited liability company or an estate, your family will need access to those organizing documents.
Don’t forget to document access codes and passwords to all of your computers and digital accounts. I have seen where social media accounts live on beyond their owner. Do you wish for that to happen or do you want your family to close the accounts… or do you not care? Either way, you may make it easy on your family by documenting your wishes and providing necessary logons to email accounts, social media accounts, photo-sharing sites like Shutterfly, and other digital storage sites.
The one simple thing you can do to make it easy on your family is: DOCUMENT.
In an era of “everything digital”, this document should be in good old fashioned ink and paper, easily accessible, in a known location. Nationwide has created a booklet that you can use for this purpose which includes all of the above categories and more, so that you do not omit any important information. The Braun Agency is providing this valuable booklet at no charge. To receive your copy, all you have to do is call, or submit our contact form and type the reason “to make it easy on my loved ones”. Be sure to include your mailing address and we will ship your copy right away. Your family will thank you.
The Braun Agency’s mission is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be financially by planning, achieving your plan and protecting your plan from unexpected events. In the process, our goal is to deliver insurance services in a manner that exceeds your expectations. See what The Braun Agency can do for you today. Give us a call at 757-452-4563 to speak with one of the licensed, professional members of our team or request a contact here. The Braun Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-INSURANCE.