Okay, I know that this isn’t the most uplifting or exciting title to a blog post! Most of us want to get the most out of the precious life we have, not plan for the time afterward. Totally understandable. I get it, and I’m with you on that 100%.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of us have people that we either care a lot about, are taking care of, or both. In such cases, what we do with our affairs and how we get things organized can help those people in the event we unexpectedly pass. Of course, in the long run, this isn’t unexpected but a certainty.
Anyway, I’ve given a little bit of thought to what would be useful to have in an “In Case of Death File“, and have come up with a few things. Here they are, as a work in-progress list:
In the event of early passing, who would want assets to be dispersed in a way that isn’t in accordance with your exact wishes? Instead of leaving distribution to other people or rules you may or may not agree with, it seems to be a good idea to have a will. If you have kids, you will absolutely want them to be taken care of.
Power of Attorney
This may actually be something needed right before death, in the event of incapacitation preceding death. In the event someone isn’t able to make decisions for themselves, an other trusted person can be authorized to make decisions on the former’s behalf. Power of Attorney generally involves a written authorization to do so.
In the event of death, life insurance proceeds could be there to help out specifically designated beneficiaries. It’s a good idea to keep insurance information handy to facilitate the proper handling of such matters during a difficult time.
All credit card information, including account numbers and contact information, should be a part of this file one would think.
If loans are outstanding, and payments aren’t made, consequences can’t be good, right? It’s good to keep a list of any loans and debts that will need to be taken care of. It would be a shame to have unexpected issues arise for loved ones in relation to a person’s debts.
This could be brokerage accounts, bank accounts, or any other accounts where assets are held. It’s important to know where the accounts are, what the account numbers are, and any other relevant information that would be needed to properly handle the accounting for funds.
Keys and Titles
Copies of keys to home, car, safe deposit box, etc – can all be labeled.
List of Miscellaneous Valuables
This could range from jewelery, to family heirlooms, all the way to other things such as birth/marriage certificates and the like.
My Questions for You
I’m sure my list is just a start, and there are plenty of other additions that can be made – do you have any to add?
Do you feel like you keep things organized enough today?
How are you handling this type of file?
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