Sounds morbid, but it’s actually the kindest thing that you can do for your family. The life insurance plan – while useful, will be tough to access initially. The 401k and 529 accounts set up for the kids and grandkids – will be caught up in legalities for a few months. What the family really needs – right now, is to be able to download your mind and know all those little things. The When-I die file is exactly that…. The “fill in the blank” documents which explain all
We all know we need to remove the clutter, organize the bills, have a will, create the advanced directives for the medical community. It’s overwhelming and seems impersonal. This file goes a little deeper, and adds your personality to the documentation. The who, what, where, when, and why of your decisions. It provides the answers to – “what do you want when you die?”
- These are my financials. You may have money, savings, accounts, investments – or you may not; but how will those close to you really know. The scavenger hunt of locating the treasure may take years for your loved ones, without a quick listing of your financials. Account numbers are great, but at a minimum have a list of the financial institutions that you utilize often. You may be surprised at how many you have.
- This is why. The decisions listed in your will, advanced-directive, and material possessions are going to be black-and-white, and may leave divisions and heartache when it was unintended. A quick explanation document may assist the family and friends with understanding where your intentions really are. This is why my partner gets the money, and the children get the house. This is why there were 3 savings accounts. This is why I want my funeral in Dallas. The why question from children to parents, and parents to children starts when a child can talk, and continues throughout the lifetime, this gives the opportunity to answer a few of them.
- This is how. We cannot read your mind. So when the secret question or the password or the lucky number is requested– it is going to be tough to answer that. Accessing social media, email accounts, the cable/trash/cell phone account is going to be tough if we don’t know what you were using. The this-is-how is a step by step guide of getting into your day to day affairs and allowing communications to continue. An example would be your cell phone – if your immediate family cannot get into your contacts, how will they convey messages to those that may not immediately know of your passing.
- This is what I didn’t say. The plot line for many movies, books and dreams is a vision of a person who is passed conveying messages of love. There may also be family secrets of a recipe or hidden heirloom or photos in a closet. There is the conversations that didn’t happen about the way birth or death or the estrangement happens. All the things you didn’t get the opportunity to say. This can be created informally in a letter format – Dear Abby, there’s something I didn’t get to say…. Or more formalized bulleted memo. Here are 10 things….
Your physical file is ready and located in your assigned area, but what able the digital version. As you put together your soft-copy of your when-i-die file, consider uploading all your wishes, reports, documents, and memories onto InsureYouKnow.org. It’s a safe place to store all the information in case your loved ones need to access it remotely – or from your own home. You will have peace of mind that they will be able to find everything they need in an organized way – the way you left it. To learn more about the file – read the Time Magazine article
The idiom – Hindsight is 20/20 – originated in the early 1900s as a way to “describe the fact that it is easy for one to be knowledgeable about an event after it has happened.” We have a New Year’s Day every year, and with that comes the endless resolutions and promises to make changes in our lives. Birthdays are another reflection time. We are fifteen days into the year 2020 and perhaps making the tweaks now can help the resolutions to be successful.
In our lives we have plenty of ways to be resourceful and organized, yet we all fail to cover all the areas. Some of us thrive at organization in the workplace, but have a stack of papers at our home. Others have a knack for fitting in workouts, but are unable to connect with family and friends. Then when a crisis or need happens – we become frantic and anxiety creeps in.
Making those appointments to have 20/20 in 2020.
- Physical Health Appointments. There is not a one-size fits all doctor for our physical health needs. And in 2020 – we have choices. Where do you want to go – a family practice or a larger organization with multiple providers? Do you have a preference in the type of philosophy they have? The Primary Care physician is the doctor that can hold all your records, but they cannot assist with everything. Dentists, Chiropractors, Optometrists, and the numerous specialists for every ailment exist – but making the appointment, preparing questions for the provider, and actually showing up are achievements. According to a 2016 study, the average yearly no-show rate for primary care and specialty medical appointments is just under 20 percent! Post-appointment, request a copy of your records so you can review the action items.
- Financial Health Appointments. We may receive paper statements in the mail about our accounts, investments and paperwork for tax purposes. Many of these can be converted to online-statements which save the environment and clutter the email box versus the kitchen counter. Consumer Action, revealed that depending on the account category, 45-74 percent of respondents said that they choose paper over electronic notifications for insurance, utilities, medical, mortgages, credit cards and property taxes. Whichever method you select – are you clear about what is happening in your financial health. Are the accounts and investments working towards your 2020 goals? Making an appointment with a financial advisor, stopping into the branch to meet with the banking specialist, or connecting with a resource provided by your workplace will help you review your health in this area.
- Mental Health Appointments. The most common responses to “How are you?” are “Good” “Fine” “Okay” but when we dig deeper there are areas of unrest in our lives. Mental wellness doesn’t have to mean seeing a counselor or therapist. Setting aside time, or making an appointment to do something that “brings you joy” can prevent the need to see a therapist. And if you do need a specialist: phone counseling, online chat, individual, group therapy and medications are available to meet your needs.
- Spiritual Health Appointments. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that “spiritual health creates a balance between physical, psychological and social aspects of human life” Finding the area or time to create the balance in life is challenging, but the label of religion or spiritual does not need to hinder the opportunity to fulfill this need.
Your calendar will be full from all the preparations and appointments, but your world and your significant others will see a drastic difference in who you are in the year 2020. Resolve to make an appointment this quarter with a provider in each category. After the appointments, consider uploading all your receipts, reports, documents, and memories onto InsureYouKnow.org. It’s a safe place to store all the information in case you need to access it remotely – or from the comforts of your own home. You will have 20/20 vision instead of hindsight.