We all know that one day we are going to pass away or be unable to care for ourselves. After we are gone, our family will be saddled with the burden of having to go through our things and settle our estates, insurance, and other assets. Are these things scattered throughout your home or do you have them kept together in a safe location? The life binder is an essential tool in helping your loved ones cope with loss and the stress if you should not be there and it is a simple project for you to leave for them.
Simply buy a binder from an office supply store or big box company. In this binder, you want to put all of the essential information that your loved ones might need when you are gone. Here is an easy checklist for you to follow:
- Copy of Wills and Advanced Directives
- Who is your Power of Attorney in case you are incapable of making decisions
- Insurance Policies
- Pre-made Funeral Arrangements
- Social Security Card
- Birth Certificate
- Trust Documents
- Investment Statements
- Medical Records
- Trustee Certification
- Marriage Certificates
- Personal/Family Balance Sheets
- Other Important Documents
When putting your Life Binder together there are a couple of things to remember. First, you want to make sure this information is kept in a safe place. This can be off-property or in a fireproof safe that is kept on an exterior wall of your home in case of fire or other emergency.
Your children and your spouse should have access to this information and know it’s location in case you are unable to retrieve the contents.
Include your spouse in the Life Binder.
Think of the big picture when putting your binder together. Think of anything you might be able to add to this Life Binder that will help your loved ones.
Be persistent and update the information about once a quarter. Make sure that all insurance policies and financial information is up-to-date.
Focus on facts, not emotion. While you could put some emotional and sentimental items in the binder, this is meant to be a factual aid in your family’s needs.
If you have any more questions about the Life Binder or how to start putting one together, feel free to contact the Kabb Law Firm for more details. Call us at 216-991-KABB (5222).