It is a good idea to get organized if you want to make things easier for your family after you pass away. Doing so is also likely to help you now.
Have you have ever needed to find a particular document but could not remember exactly where you put it? If the answer is yes, then you know how frustrating it can be to locate one piece out of a sea of documents.
For example, if you need your birth certificate and the last time you needed it you were in a rush and did not put it away in the right place, finding it can be difficult and frustrating. People who are not careful about putting everything away in its proper place end up doing this with all sorts of important documents over the years.
It becomes difficult for them to locate documents and it is then even more difficult for other people to find things after the person passes away. For that reason, it is a good idea to get organized as the Washington Post discusses in “Let’s talk about the Big Book: Everything your family needs to know what you die.”
One suggestion discussed in the article is to place copies of all important documents in a three-ring binder. This includes your will, other estate planning documents, and advanced medical directives. It should also include documents about important possessions, such as vehicles and financial accounts. Any important legal or financial documents should be included.
Ask yourself how your family would react in the event you were in a car accident tomorrow. If they stepped in to handle your finances during your recovery, could they easily find your bank statements and checkbook? Would they be able to complete and file tax returns, if needed?
Maintaining organized financial records, utility statements, recent credit card statements, and other helpful information can be critical easing a difficult situation. Be sure to clearly mark and store prior years’ tax returns.
Becoming organized will help your family find things after you pass away. It will also help you if you ever need to locate one of those important documents for yourself.
Reference: Washington Post (May 18, 2018) “Let’s talk about the Big Book: Everything your family needs to know what you die.”