If death is so inevitable, why is it that we talk about it so infrequently? For most of us, death is something that can be ignored. We all assume, and hope, that we live a long life and die peacefully. Although we know that this is not true for everyone, most of us assume that tragedy happens to someone else. But to someone else, you are someone else. No one is ever too young to tell their loved ones how they want their final send off to look and how to make the process as easy as possible.
After a loved one dies there is the annoying task of dealing with paperwork. Bank accounts, life insurance, utilities, homes, cars, and other property all need to be taken care of. To make the process easier, create a Legacy Binder.
What is a Legacy Binder?
Legacy Binders can be bought online, but it’s very easy to make one yourself. It doesn’t have to be a binder and can look however you would like it to. It can be a folder, drawer, envelope, whatever, as long as someone knows where it is and it’s kept up to date. Give a copy to your next of kin or place it in a safety deposit box that someone else can access. You don’t want the only copy or the only key to the safety deposit box to be in your residence. A fire could mean the end of you and your information.
What Goes in a Legacy Binder?
In short, anything that you think someone will need to know after you die.
- Will (one can be created easily enough online)
- Location of important documents (birth certificate, social security card, car titles, etc)
- Death Certificate Information (click for a list of information needed for a death certificate)
- All financial account information (include user names and passwords for online accounts)
- Insurance information (health, life, homeowners, renters, car, etc.)
- Pet information (vet, vaccinations)
It’s sad to think about death, but it is important that your loved ones know about your final wishes. The friends and family left behind may not feel adequate at determining what you would want. Do you want to be buried or cremated, and if cremated, do you want your ashes scattered and where? Is a grave side service needed or would a small celebration of life be preferred? Is there a family plot? Was there money set aside for a funeral? Perhaps you don’t have any preferences.
A legacy binder is useful for putting these decisions in writing. At the very least, tell those that are close to you. Even if you couldn’t care less about what happens to your remains, tell that to those close to you. You won’t need closure once you’re gone, but your loved ones may.
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