After our article “I Signed My Estate Planning Documents…Now What?” on September 19, a client emailed us this Time article asking us what we think.
Our short answer is, “We couldn’t agree more!”
On the more serious side, taking time to prepare a “When I Die” file is stressful and can cause anxiety, but it can also be fulfilling and cathartic. Being thoughtful about building the file can actually open new doors.
For example, Darrell is one of two sons and his mother is the keeper of her family’s jewelry. Neither he nor his brother have daughters nor any particular interest in the jewelry. Darrell had his mother take the time with each piece to write down the story and add a line of the three people who should receive the pieces upon her passing. This process sparked conversations on family history, childhood stories and familial aspirations for the future.
Death is a trying time for a family and having the “When I Die” file prepared, can avoid the “what do we did with this” problem. A perk to having the file ready, is it is also a great answer to the question, “If your house were on fire, and you could only grab one thing, what would it be?”
Building Your “When I Die” File
- Advance (Healthcare) Directive
- Estate Documents
- Trusts, including Certificate of Trust
- Instructions for your funeral and final disposition
- Legal Documents & Agreements
- Wills, Trust, Powers of Attorney
- Business, Buy/Sell Agreements
- Employment Agreements
- Pre/Post-Nuptials or Divorce Decrees
- Marriage & Birth Certificates
- Ethical Documents
- Ethical Will
- Letters to Family Members
- Family History & Stories
- Key Family Photos
- Account Numbers
- Social Media Accounts
- If you have a Facebook account, you can assign who has administrative rights when you die
- Any other documents you feel should be at the fingertips of your executors.
NOTE: Your encrypted eMoney Vault is a great place to store your documents
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MAKE A PLAN, MAKE AN INVESTMENT, MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE CAN HELP.SM
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