If you remember back at the beginning of the month, I realized that I had to update our personal files, or our “Disaster Files.” This was the files showing investments, wills, titles, etc. Often folks do this once every so often (many times after a family member passes away) and then let it lie fallow till the next “emergency.” Yep, I was one of those folks, having not touched it since 2013. In my previous post I attached a couple of helpful documents that I hope folks find useful.
Well, I dove into it during the month, and so far, here is what I’ve gotten done:
|1||Update Master List from 2013|
|2||Send Master list to Mrs. 39 Months|
|3||Price out updating wills|
|4||Redo filing cabinet with Master List & Disaster file #1|
|5||Household budget folder (budget goals, income statement, balance sheet, income/expense forecasts)|
|6||Housing Information (Title, insurance, receipts for work, property taxes)|
|8||Location of keys to safe deposit box – Mrs. 39 Months drawer|
|9||Credit records: Resolution of past debts (auto, home)|
|10||Home Insurance Policy|
|11||Net Worth’s 2009 to present|
|12||Annual updates for Jan 1, 2017 into investments|
|13||Investments (list of accounts, goal planning, annual balance sheet)|
|14||Taxes: Tax records for previous year, current year documents|
|15||Personal background info (Education, personal history, resume)|
|16||Credit: Resolution papers of past debts, credit card names, numbers & 1-800 number|
|17||Health insurance (Booklet from work, health history, medications, etc.)|
|18||Life Insurance (Insurance policies, etc.)|
|19||Safe Deposit: Title to Mrs. 39 Months’s auto, DD214, NY and KY marriage certificate, letter of last instructions, copy of will, personal property inventory, negatives of personal property, passports, old passports, Mrs. 39 Months’s birth certificate, Mr. 39 Months’s birth certificate, Mr. 39 Months’s SS card)|
So what do I have left?
|1||Letter of Last Instructions|
|2||latest credit report|
|3||Updated list of personal property|
|4||Pictures of personal property|
|5||Guarantees & warranties (appliances, cars, etc.)|
|6||Auto Info: Insurance coverage, policies, auto registration, repair/maintenance records|
|7||Instruction letter (where to find everything, computer passwords, etc.)|
|8||Setup dates for regular updates to the files (so I never have to do this again)|
Some of these I should be able to knock off. The pictures of personal property actually might end up being a video (room by room) and description. Often these are better than just pictures.
The big killer, for me and for most people, is the Letter of Last Instruction. Let’s face it, its not a fun document, as it lists what happens when you die (not “if you die” but when – we haven’t discovered immortality yet). I’ve done some research on things to include:
- Instructions about the funeral, memorial service, and preferred disposition of the body. Your loved one should also include any specific instructions for clergy and funeral directors.
- Location of his or her will.
- Names of friends and relatives who should be informed of the death.
- Location of all important personal documents (birth or baptismal certificate, Social Security card, marriage or divorce papers, naturalization and citizenship papers, discharge papers from the armed services).
- Location of membership certificates to any lodges or fraternal organizations that provide death or cemetery benefits.
- Information about outstanding debts.
- Location of safe deposit boxes and keys.
- List and location of insurance policies. This should include the name of the insured, policy number, amount, company, and beneficiary for each life, health, accident, and burial insurance policy.
- List of pension systems that may provide death benefits; e.g, Social Security, Veterans Affairs, railroad retirement.
- List and locatoin of all bank accounts (checking and savings), stocks, bonds, real estate, and other major property (personal and business).
- List of the names of various advisors, their addresses, and telephone numbers (lawyer, executor of the estate, life insurance agent, accountant, investment counselor).
- Instructions concerning business operations, if any.
- An explanation of actions taken in his or her will, such as disinheritances.
- Personal information: full name, address and length of residence there; Social Security number; date and place of birth; father’s name and mother’s maiden name; marital status; names and addresses of children, spouse, and other members of the immediate family; schools or colleges attended and degrees and honors received; name of employer and position held.
I will probably start working on this in August, with the hope of having it done by the end of September. Wish me luck!
Mr. 39 months.