Having an estate plan, or a will and trust is wise. These serve to pre-plan the management and disbursement of your assets, property and other affairs throughout your life and after your death.
But what about the other details?
What do you want your funeral to look like?
How can your loved ones access all your important accounts?
Will someone need a copy of your budget and instructions on handling these expenses after you pass?
What about last words or letters for loved ones?
This is where a Legacy Drawer comes in.
Dave Ramsey has laid out some instruction on how to create a Legacy Drawer, but as times change, what goes in this drawer also changes. Below are some instructions on how to keep/create an “E-Legacy Drawer” that you can update each year.
Storing the Legacy Drawer
Keeping a paper lockbox for a legacy drawer is not ideal. There’s risk of the box being lost or damaged in a fire or flood or falling to theft. If that physical box containing all your important papers is stolen – it could be lethal to your personal financial security. Having a Legacy Drawer stored online is ideal because it adds security and is easier to update and maintain.
There are no shortages of online storage solutions. Things like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive are just a few. Making a Legacy Drawer folder in one of these applications is a great place to start.
If something happens to you, your loved ones probably wouldn’t know where to start. To ensure everything is handled correctly, it’s a great idea to have a cover letter. The cover letter could list the name and number to your Financial Advisor, CPA, Attorney, or other financial professional that can walk your loved ones through this. You might also want to list your Insurance Agent to help with any Life Insurance claims.
In addition to instruction on who to contact, you may want to list other instructions like how certain bills are paid or other financial responsibilities that you handle. This is also a good time to think about things that you do around the house. Instructions on how to use the sprinkler system or washing machine can make some feel loved even after you are gone.
Lastly, detail any funeral instructions. Leaving your loved ones to plan your funeral in the midst of grieving is not ideal for anyone. Make it easier on them by telling them in writing what you want.
To ensure the smooth transition of accounts and other financial matters, you’ll need proper documentation in place. A copy of your will, trust, life insurance policy, and other legal documents are all things to place here. You may also want to keep birth certificates, marriage licenses, social security cards, driver licenses, and passports here as well.
If you aren’t using a password app, you should start. Not only does it help you create unique passwords for each account, they help change passwords regularly to limit a security breach. Most of these password managers require a multi-stage login with a high level of complexity to access the entire password list. Do not write down or store the instructions for password manager access anywhere. Instead, communicate to your spouse or loved ones how to access these passwords in case of an emergency. For your Legacy Drawer, you may want to communicate the name of the password application along with a hint to help them remember the verbal instructions you gave to access your passwords.
Thankfulness and Encouragement
Nearly every computer or phone has a camera. As a result, recording videos has never been easier. A great touch to place inside your Legacy Drawer is a personalized video to each loved one where you tell them how thankful you are for them and encourage them in their gifting. Let them know you’re proud of them and give them any last words of advice. These videos can have a lasting impact on their life.
Making a Legacy Drawer is awesome! What’s better is keeping it updated. Set a recurring reminder in your calendar to update this E-drawer on an annual basis.
Do you have a team of wise advisors helping you with insurance, home loans, investments, and financial planning? As mentioned in the instructions above, a team of trusted people that can walk your loved ones through these aspects of your life is an excellent thing to have in place. At Stewardship, we pride ourselves in being uniquely structured to love our community in multiple areas of personal financial matters. Schedule an appointment below to get a wise advisor that will partner with you now as you live, but also be a trusted, loving guide for the ones you care about the most.