In our busy lives, it is easy to forget to let our loved ones know where everything is in the event of our death. Things we take for granted at work, our insurance policies and maybe even a safety deposit box should be listed for our loved ones. If you died today, would your spouse, significant other or partners know what to do? Do they know where your will or life insurance policy is located? Do they know who to talk to at your work for benefits or who and how to run your business? My answer was no. That’s why I sat down and decided to make a list, just in case.
Your list should include all pertinent information and even a “how to” if you are self-employed or business owner. Just pretend you died this minute with no time to explain. Your loved ones will be devastated, but think what a mess you would leave for them financially. Here are a few reminders of things they will need to know.
- Your final arrangements. What funeral home? Cremated or buried? Depending on the answer where is your final resting spot? Service arrangements?
- Location of your last will and testament, your life insurance policy and names of attorneys, insurance agents and or financial planner
- If you are employed, the name and phone number of human resources or benefits counselor at your work. You probably have benefits due to your loved ones.
- If you are self-employed or own a business, names of your business contacts. This is where the “how to” list for running your business will be important. Remember to include bank account numbers, phone numbers, vendor phone numbers and your bookkeeper.
- Finally, as you make your list, be sure it is easily accessible for your updates and your loved one knows where it is located.
I believe a good title to name your list is “Upon My Death”, so a loved one or business partner can easily search your computer with the title and find your list. If it is too difficult to find, the list becomes worthless. Keep in mind, simple is important, as your loved ones will not be thinking clearly after a sudden death.
Don’t procrastinate, take the time to write your list. No one knows when our time comes and we must be prepared. Don’t leave your loved ones with a mess.
“The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.”-– Epicurus
Image by Sira Anamwong at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.