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:
- Drivers license numbers, social security numbers, and passports
- Numbers for all bank accounts and credit cards, including loans
- List of annuities, and other investments such as stocks and bonds.
- Titles for all vehicles, cars, trailers, boats ATVs
- Marriage license and birth certificates
- Warranty deeds for owned properties
- Previous tax bills for owned properties
- Insurance policies for life insurance, car insurance, and homeowners insurance. (Include the policy in the book.)
- Retirement contact information, along with life insurance in benefit package information
- 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.
- Health insurance information and policy numbers.
- 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.