Pre-planning the management and disbursement of your assets, property, and other affairs throughout your life and after your death is wise. It’s important to have an estate plan or a will and trust. But what about the other details?
What do you want your funeral to look like? How can your loved ones access your important accounts? Will someone need a copy of your budget and instructions on handling 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 a few pointers on creating a Legacy Drawer, but as times change, what goes into this drawer also differs. 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 a risk of the box being lost or damaged in a fire or flood or falling to theft. If a 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.
There are no shortages of online storage solutions: 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, ensure your loved ones handle things correctly by creating a cover letter. The 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 time. You might also want to list your Insurance Agent to help with any claims.
In addition to instructions on who to contact, you may want to list how certain bills are paid or other financial and daily responsibilities you handle. Simple 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 directions or wishes. Leaving your loved ones to plan your funeral in the midst of grieving is not ideal. 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 in your Legacy Drawer. You may also want to keep copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, social security cards, drivers 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, it helps change passwords regularly to limit security breaches. Most 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, tell your spouse or loved ones how to access these passwords in case of an emergency. For your Legacy Drawer, you may want to give the name of the password application along with a hint to help them remember the verbal instructions you discussed.
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 lives.
To keep your Legacy Drawer updated, set a recurring reminder in your calendar to revise your E-drawer annually.
Do you have a team of wise advisors helping you with insurance, home loans, investments, and financial planning? As mentioned in the instructions above, trusted people who 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.