By Rev. Keith E. Lawder, Georgia United Methodist Foundation President and CEO
I have written about this before, but in case you have not seen it or need a gentle reminder, here is a suggestion that will make things easier for your loved ones if you pass or become impaired.
Every year around New Year’s Day, my father would update THE LETTER and THE NOTEBOOK. THE LETTER was specific instructions as to what to do when he passed. It contained information regarding his will and where to find important papers, including a map of his desk. It had both health care and financial powers of attorney since I was his executor and would become the caregiver for my mother. When he did pass, I had what I needed for the moment and access to what I would need later.
It was easy to find all the necessary financial papers, passwords, accounts, and contacts because of the map he provided in the letter. He also left THE NOTEBOOK locked in the desk. In THE NOTEBOOK were all the documents I would need to inventory assets, notify required parties, file insurance claims, and notify the people who needed notification. It was comprehensive and an enormous help in the difficult months that followed his death. It made caring for my mother so much easier. It made settling his estate less onerous.
No one likes thinking about financial stuff when a loved one dies. One of the most loving things we can do is to make that difficult time a bit easier. Preparing and maintaining THE LETTER and THE NOTEBOOK are one way to show your love for those who will handle things when you are gone.