Sarah walked through the back door. She instantly recognized the statuette of Pope Pius XII her father kept on the breakfast table. She started to cry but stopped herself. She had work to do. Walking to her father’s study and looking in, all of the energy in Sarah’s body was suddenly siphoned off into the ether. She didn’t realize what she had signed up for when she agreed to be her father’s executor. The few trips to NY she had planned to take care of his estate weren’t going to be enough.
Sarah had inherited a cluster f**k.
We are all going to die. Drag. Hopefully, this won’t be for a long time. But, you know, what if you get hit by a bus?
And if you’re like most of us, you’ve got lots of “stuff.” And someone will have to sort out your stuff after your dead. While your household possessions will likely go to the dumpster or Goodwill, what about your financial “stuff”?
If you don’t have your financial life organized and documented, it’s going to be a big ‘ol cluster f**k for that lucky someone tasked with disposing of your estate.
On average, it takes an executor 570 hours of effort to settle an estate. That’s a lot. How many more hours would a cluster f**k take?
How can you avoid leaving a burden for your family/friends?
Create an “If I Get Hit by a Bus” binder. This beauty is a repository of your financial and other vital documents that you can give to loved-ones as a roadmap to your financial life.
What should you put in “If I get Hit by a Bus” binder?
- Estate documents: will, powers of attorney, directive to physicians, etc.
- Financial account statements: bank, brokerage, credit card, annuity, etc.
- Insurance policies: home, auto, umbrella, life, disability, health, long-term care, etc.
- Copies of identification: passport, drivers license, birth certificate
- Subscription information: newspaper, magazines, online services
- Utility accounts: electric, water, gas, cable, internet, etc.
- List of other periodic bills
- List of important contacts: emergency contacts, doctors, CPA, financial advisor, financial organizer
- Loans: mortgage, auto, lines of credit
- Funeral wishes: pre-paid arrangements, specific bequests
Put this binder in a safe place. It has all of your financial documents in it! And don’t think this ‘binder’ has to be a physical item. It could be electronic or electronic in the cloud.
This binder is helpful if you become incapacitated, and someone has to take charge of managing your finances. Or if you have to evacuate your home.
Settling an estate is not fun. But you can do a little preparatory work now, so your loved ones don’t inherit a cluster f**k.
If your finances are just so disorganized that this project is impossible for you, call a financial organizer like Savvy Home Office Services to get your finances in order. Click the button below to schedule a free consultation.