The new year: A time to put our lives in order

The coming of a new year is a perfect time to organize our lives.

By Roberta Ludtke

The coming of a new year is a perfect time to organize our lives. After I retired, I realized if anything unfortunate were to befall my husband and me, our children would have a difficult time settling our affairs. I set out to organize a family notebook containing all of our information. Here is a list of some of the items we included in our family book:

  1. Drivers license numbers, social security numbers, and passports
  2. Numbers for all bank accounts and credit cards, including loans
  3. List of annuities, and other investments such as stocks and bonds.
  4. Titles for all vehicles, cars, trailers, boats ATVs
  5. Marriage license and birth certificates
  6. Warranty deeds for owned properties
  7. Previous tax bills for owned properties
  8. Insurance policies for life insurance, car insurance, and homeowners insurance. (Include the policy in the book.)
  9. Retirement contact information, along with life insurance in benefit package information
  10. Disbursement of valued items. Taking pictures of items that were either family heirlooms or jewelry and writing a brief history of the items can be meaningful to inheritors. As important, indicate whom you would like to inherit the item.
  11. Health insurance information and policy numbers.
  12. Once all the information is consolidated into one book, it becomes essential to keep the book current and in a secured area, like a bank or a safe, making sure the area is fireproof.


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