As we get older, we need to think more about our document storage. This article…
Have you ever watched a show about hoarders? Even though the gross stuff is the most compelling, hoarding doesn’t only apply to furniture, expired food and doll collections. It’s also about paperwork. The stuff you throw in drawers and boxes in case you need it. The stuff you never really get around to sorting because you’ve got more pressing things going on in your life.
If you’re not especially excited about tackling those boxes, imagine someone else having to do it for you? Someone who doesn’t understand what’s important and what needs to be shredded or recycled?
We all save lots of paper and digital files because it’s better to have something than to need it. You never know when you might require that gas station receipt or old pay stub or quarterly investment report. But imagine the stress your kid, spouse or best friend would feel while digging through boxes or filing cabinets to understand and settle all your financial issues?
Our goal at My Family Documents is simple: When it comes time to settle your estate, pay required taxes, and quickly and easily receive benefits, your family and loved ones need a solution that has everything in one place.
Places You Should Start
Types of paperwork you should gather and store in the My Family Documents software program:
- Estate Planning: Will, trusts, power of attorney, etc…
- Medical: advance directive, living will, Do-Not-Resuscitate order, Do-Not Hospitalize order
- Financial and Legal Accounts: insurance policies, bank accounts, credit cards, tax returns, mortgage info, deeds
- Personal Information: birth certificate, Social Security card, marriage license, divorce decree, kid’s personal information
- Professional Contacts: lawyer, accountant, insurance agent, etc..
- Utilities and Services: Power company, phone/internet/TV provider, cleaning services, electrician, plumber, etc…
Gather password information for all of your online accounts–email, online banking and finance, social media–as well as for physical items–banking PIN number, computer, cell phone, safe deposit boxes, and combinations to locks or safes.
Because these passwords are incredibly sensitive, they need to be stored in an easily accessible and secure location that only authorized users can access.
Don’t store these items in a safe deposit box, as the bank may require a court order to allow your family to open the box, which will often take more time than you’d like.
Additionally, don’t store your password information with any type of password keeping solution that operates on the public internet and charges you a monthly fee because you’re not in control of their so-called security protocols. Too many major corporations get hacked every month and they have teams of security personnel, yet they continue to get hacked.
Why This Is Important
After a death, your family has to deal with lots of financial and administrative tasks that can quickly become overwhelming. They can spend months digging through drawers and file cabinets and waiting for new statements and bills to arrive just so they can figure out what’s going on. Even then, they might not uncover everything.
With planning and organization, you can relieve a big chunk of that burden by helping your family easily settle your estate, pay required taxes, and quickly receive the benefits they need.
Need More Reasons? Here You Go!
- Avoid unnecessary charges from ongoing subscriptions
- Protection from identity theft or fraud
- Distribute, sell, or donate any personal items that weren’t included in the Will
This is also beneficial while you’re alive too. It can help you budget more effectively and get a complete, real-time financial sense of where you are.
Share with us your experiences of getting organized and how it helped you through a difficult situation. Our goal is to do everything possible to make this easier so you can get on with enjoying life.