Consider making a 'When I die file'

I know that this isn’t the most uplifting title to an article but I feel it is an important one. Although loss is normal, Death is still a taboo topic for all of us. There is a lack of information available to people about death, largely because people don’t like talking about it, and people are also reluctant to face the inevitable fact that they themselves will die one day.

We don’t usually think or ourselves as active participants in planning what happens to us before we die. We tend to think of dying as something we have no control of, that happens to us, and we don’t have much say in how it happens.

What is a ‘When I die file’?

A ‘When I die file’, a place to store documents and personal effects that might save your loved ones incalculable time, money and distress when you are no longer around. It is a physical or digital folder that an individual or family keeps that contains important information that will be needed in the event that someone dies or becomes incapacitated. The folder serves an important, but often overlooked role in estate planning.

What should be in your 'death' file?

-Most recent 'Last will' (and/or also a emergency medical directive) with contact information of designated lawyer/firm (Physical or digital copy)
-Funeral directives, such as the music you want played, or whether you want to be cremated or buried.
-A letter to the people you loves or make your own eulogy to be read to pay tribute to the living
-A list if one's digital & financial assets & how to access it (computer, relevant accounts & finances)
-Any pending debts, billing accounts or tax returns, land titles and where to find them
-Account names and/or passwords for banks, stocks, pooled funds or the like investments
-Insurance policies with a basic steps for claims
-Life and non-life insurance policies
-Pensions and social security benefit information
-Identification cards, birth, prenuptial agreement, marriage or divorce certificates
-Specific possessions: Family heirlooms, jewelry, photos, specific letters for certain people..etc..

How to get this done

Many of us have a great handle on our finances, but our record keeping systems might not be obvious to family members or friends who might need immediate access to them in times of emergency.

Compile a list of the financial information your heirs will need upon your death: wills, trust information, investment accounts, legal contacts, etc. You can keep this information in an electronic files (in your computer or cloud-based) or a physical binder to serve as a road map to find all the physical paperwork.

Also, you have to tell your loved ones you have done it and tell them where to find it. You can either hand over the file immediately or keep it in a safe place.

The difference between having your files organized or not is about more than just stress; leave behind a mess and it can delay inheritors’ access to funds and cost a bundle in legal fees.

The job of assembling all of this information can be massive, but most people appreciate it in the end. Each family is unique, so this is just a minimum of what can be included in your “When I Die” file.

And because death or incapacity can strike at any moment, get your affairs in order—before it’s too late!

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Consider making a 'When I die file' Consider making a 'When I die file' Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Saturday, January 25, 2020 Rating: 5

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