The “Legacy Drawer”
by Brittany Spragins
While it is extremely hard to think about, someday you will pass away. What will happen to your spouse, kids, grandkids, and other loved ones? Have you heard of the “Legacy Drawer?” Here is what it contains:
- Cover Letter – this will explain the purpose and organizational system of the drawer.
- A Last Will and Testament (a “will”) – Make sure to have an updated copy of your will. Without one, the government divides your assets as they see fit; your own wishes are irrelevant. If you have children, the government also picks their guardian.
- Make sure that the will is updated after major life events such as marriage or divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or moving to a new state.
- Make sure that this contains the names of the executor and Power of Attorney for the estate.
- Financial Information – anything involving money
- Include account names, numbers, and approximate balances
- Credit cards accounts and online login information
- Loan Documents
- Safe Deposit Box location and information
- Insurance Provider Information – include a summary page of all types of insurance
- Policy type
- Policy Numbers
- Provider Contact Information
- Funeral Instructions – Include as much as you can to ease the burden on your family. Your family will already be grieving your loss, so if you have songs or locations picked out, let them know.
- Legal Documents – copies of birth certificate, marriage license, car titles, house deeds, social security card, etc. If you think it may be needed to help settle your estate, and then include it in here.
- A letter to your loved ones- They will be missing you and a personalized letter from you reminding them of your love will be a special gift for them. You can leave remaining pearls of wisdom, or just the opportunity for them to hear your words in a lasting legacy.
Update the information periodically, if you get a new bank account or pay off a loan, then just add or remove the file accordingly.
I realize that there are a lot of items to include, and it will take some time to locate and organize these, but stick to it. If it would take time to do now, imagine the stress on your loved ones if they are doing it because you are gone. This is one way that you can ease the burden on your family and remind them how much you love them.
Outline provided by Dave Ramsey http://www.daveramsey.com/article/legacy-drawer-keep-your-family-prepared/lifeandmoney_relationshipsandmoney/.
Brittany Spragins ([email protected]) is a staff accountant with Langdon & Company LLP and works with our healthcare consulting and tax departments.