As we get older, we need to think more about our document storage. This article…
Some people think they know best about how to prepare for end of life plans. However, more often than not, people make poor decisions, thinking that they are making them in theirs and their family’s best interests. This article will explain just how important it is to organize important documents and the best way to do it.
Janet Baker was a 76-year-old widow when she died suddenly of an underlying heart condition in December. She had three children who each lived in different areas of the country with their own families.
When they got news from a neighbor that their mother was gravely ill, they all flew to be with her in her final moments. None of them had spent as much time as they would have wanted with their mother towards the end of her life, but they were all very grateful to have been by her side together as a family when she took her last breath.
Janet’s children realized in just how much trouble they were only after her death. During their marriage, Janet had always left much of the bill paying and document organizing to her husband. With the help of her neighbor and children over the phone, she had managed to take care of them herself after her husband’s death.
She never, however, found the time to organize her most important documents, including her will, her financial statements, and her insurance information. Janet had hidden them in different spots to keep them safe and to make sure she wouldn’t lose them. She had also never written down her passwords and details for her bank, retirement, or investment accounts for fear of someone finding them and accessing them.
Chaos and Disorganization
While Janet’s methods may have worked during her lifetime, she didn’t realize the chaos and stress that her disorganization would leave for her family. After her funeral, Janet’s children spoke with a lawyer who told them they needed to find Janet’s will so that the will’s executor could proceed to settle all her accounts and take care of her end of life wishes.
As Janet’s children started to clean out her house, they searched everywhere for her will but couldn’t find it. Without a will to clearly indicate Janet’s requests, they started to argue over whether Janet had left money for her grandchildren. They also argued about who she wanted to inherit her property. All of Janet’s end of life planning didn’t mean anything. Her family couldn’t identify who she wanted as her beneficiaries. Nor could they identify how she wanted her possessions handled. None of her children could remember what their mother had wanted.
Creating a Toll on your Children
Soon after the disagreements began, Janet’s children had to start closing her financial accounts and contacting their offices. Janet’s daughter called her mother’s bank to let them know of Janet’s death, but the first thing they asked for was her account information, including her account numbers and important identifying information.
Her daughter couldn’t even begin to imagine where she might find her mother’s bank information or most recent financial statements. She called the bank and explained. The bank told Janet’s daughter that she should expect a much longer, more complicated account closing process. Her daughter had already taken weeks off from work. She wanted to help her siblings with the funeral and paperwork. She couldn’t be away much longer from her own family.
Meanwhile, Janet’s son began to contact her insurance providers to cancel existing policies and make a claim on her life insurance policy. Despite searching throughout the house, he couldn’t find her policy information and needed to start moving forward with the claim now. His mother had always been worried about security and likely hid it somewhere she thought no one would look. She hadn’t spoken to her children about her insurance policies. Her husband had coordinated them. This meant that no one had any idea how to begin making progress toward a claim.
Janet’s children couldn’t even remember from what insurance company she had taken out a policy. Janet’s son had to begin calling different life insurance companies. Without knowing what company to contact, but had trouble getting anywhere with them because he didn’t have access to the critical account information they needed.
During one of the already most stressful and emotional times in Janet’s children’s lives, they were left to argue over inheritances, bank accounts, and insurance policies. Janet’s children were struggling to take care of even the most basic postmortem processes. Instead of being able to grieve in peace and remember their mother together. Meanwhile, they were losing valuable time with their own families and facing constant tension with each other.
Solution: My Family Documents
Luckily, you don’t have to follow in Janet’s footsteps. My Family Documents offers a storage tool. It allows you to conveniently and securely organize all your important documents. Your account passwords, contacts, and end of life wishes are in one device. Instead of your information being stored somewhere online. A place that is vulnerable to hackers or identity thieves, My Family Documents is a physical USB flash drive. Your information can be securely stored on it. Then it is kept in a safe location for your loved ones to use when the time comes.
Many seniors don’t discuss their end of life wishes and financial circumstances with their loved ones. Their families are left clambering to locate critical legal and financial documents after their death. Lack of communication can lead to confusion and stress for the loved ones you leave behind. Avoid the chaos of disorganized personal documents. Consider keeping your important information organized on My Family Documents’ USB flash drive.
My Family Documents is a one-time payment to get all your important documents in one place. There are no annual fees, unlike online document storage services. Other services charge annual fees that can quickly add up over time and aren’t as secure as a physical device. With My Family Documents, you pay one time. Then you start safely storing and organizing all your documents in one secure location.
Janet’s family might have missed out on the peace of mind and convenience of organized personal information. But, you don’t have to leave your loved ones in the same situation. My Family Documents can help you and your family start preparing right away.