As a new year approaches, we’re prompted to think towards the future with resolutions of getting organized, doing better, exercising more, and worrying less. But why wait for the New Years’ countdown to act on these resolutions? With your loved ones home for the holidays, now is the perfect time to get organized by sharing important information they may need should anything happen to you. You have a myriad of websites with usernames and passwords, PINs, and legal documents – all unique to you. And while all those layers of security are wonderful, they are frustrating road blocks for your family in situations of great emotional stress. With this in mind, take a moment over the holidays to enlighten your family of this important information.
Not sure where to start? Begin with a simple “just in case” letter, highlighting a few categories, such as life insurance, wills, banking information, and where a list of those important passwords and emergency contacts can be found. Here are some suggestions:
Did you know that billions of dollars of life insurance have gone lost or unclaimed? Let your family know if you have a policy, what company issued the policy, and your agent’s contact information.
Have a will? List the location of the official copy (remember, it needs to be signed!) or your attorney’s contact information.
Who can speak for you financially and legally if you can’t? Tell your family who your financial and medical power(s) of attorney are and these documents’ locations.
Sorting out a financial estate can be trying; help make this easier by sharing if you have a financial advisor, your major financial accounts, where you bank, and if you have a safe deposit box (don’t forget to mention the location of the keys – you should have 2!).
Bills still need to be paid even if you’re incapacitated. Let your family know where you keep your passwords and the associated websites for online bill pay. Still use checks? Consider adding another family member to your account for check writing purposes in the event of an emergency.
Have you given some thought to your final wishes? Share these with your family so they can honor and remember you as you’d like.
At Odyssey, we believe in having these meaningful conversations now rather than later. We provide our clients with a comprehensive platform to store and share this important information with their loved ones and with us, so that we can be there for their families in times of need.
Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!
Life’s a journey, navigate it wisely!