You do all the budgets, pay all the bills, handle the insurance renewals and income taxes. You do everything when it comes to the household finances. Now you have a grieving spouse that is lost when it comes to all of this. We want to help make this process a little easier.
Whether it is a drawer, a box, or a bag, you need a centralized a place to keep all of your important financial documents, instructions, etc., so if the worst occurs your spouse and/or family knows where to go to start to pick up the financial pieces.
What Should Go in Your Legacy Go-Bag?
You should have different sections broken down into categories for things like:
- A cover letter telling your spouse/family about the purpose of the Legacy Go-Bag and how the contents of the Legacy Go-Bag will help them.
- Write a letter to your loved ones (annually so it is always up to date) explaining how much you love them and what they mean to you. This will serve as a cherished memento.
- A copy of the will and living will, including the contact information for the attorney that did the will so they can call them to start the probate process.
- Funeral instructions detailing any and all specifics of how you want to be buried, your funeral service, etc.
- A copy of all financial account statements that have any amount of money so your spouse and family know where to find it.
- A list of credentials, including passwords, so your spouse and family can access any and all accounts they need in order to carry out your wishes. This should include every online account you have and your email addresses.
- A copy of all insurance policies and contact information for any company representative that pertain to your accounts.
- Keep the last three years of income taxes in your Legacy Go-Bag so that if you get audited your family has them available to review. You should also keep the phone number to your CPA in there so they know who to reach out to for tax help. If you use an online version, remember those passwords and usernames need to be known by your family so they can log in and get those returns.
- Copies of budgets so your spouse and family know what expenses to expect (hopefully you have been doing them together already). Several of the online budgeting websites keep the last 12-24 months of budgets saved for you.
- Other important documents to keep in your Legacy Go-Bag include car titles, birth certificates, passports, and social security cards.