6 Steps to Organizing Your Legacy

6 Steps to Organizing Your Legacy Title

6 Steps to Organizing Your Legacy

Your legacy is what you leave to your loved ones after you’ve passed away.  One of the most helpful things you can leave as a legacy is a collection of well organized important documents.  These documents can then be used to determine your legal wishes, reach out to insurance companies, close accounts, disperse assets and more.  When people thinking of leaving a legacy, they often think of money, gifts or other property.  If you have these documents well organized, you will be leaving your loved ones with less stress during an emotionally difficult time.

6 Steps to Organizing Your Legacy

1.Gather Your Important Documents in One Place

Choose one place to hold these important documents.  This may be in a file cabinet drawer, a file box or a binder.

2. Collect & Organize the Following Information:

  • Will and estate information, and your attorney’s contact information.
  • Healthcare and financial power of attorney details.
  • Funeral instructions.
  • Insurance policies  including home, car, health, life & disability.
  • Monthly budget and contact information for all utilities and loans.
  • Financial account information including all bank, savings & retirement accounts.
  • Safety deposit box information, and a list of its contents.
  • Deeds to homes, funeral plots, car titles, birth certificates, etc.
  • Recent tax returns & your accountant’s contact information.
  • Online password information and pin numbers.
  • Any other important documents you’d like to leave behind for your loved ones to easily find.

3. Clearly Label All Documents

Label folders or binder tabs, so that your family can find everything quickly.

4. Make Copies of All Important Documents

It is helpful to have copies of these documents.  You may want to store the original documents in a safe deposit box and leave the copies in your home in one location.

5. Tell Others

Make sure at least 2 trusted family members or friends know where all of this information is located in case of an emergency.

6. Keep Documents Up to Date

On a regular basis, update the information in your legacy documents.  Your situation may change, so be sure to keep things current.

If you need assistance in organizing your legacy, professional organizers can help to quickly and efficiently set up an organized system.  In the Raleigh, North Carolina area, contact On Task Organizing by email or by calling 919-561-0885.  Nationwide, visit The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals to search for an organizer near you.

By | 2018-01-08T13:45:15+00:00 January 17th, 2018|family, legacy, organizing, preparedness, senior, Senior Downsizing|6 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy Haworth is a Professional Organizer and Owner of On Task Organizing, LLC in Raleigh, North Carolina. She assists residential clients throughout the area in organizing homes, decluttering, moving, and managing time. She has been a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals since 2011.

6 Comments

  1. Janet Barclay January 17, 2018 at 11:52 am - Reply

    I know this is important, but might not have thought of everything that needs to be included. Thank you for the helpful list!

  2. Hazel Thornton February 22, 2018 at 11:55 am - Reply

    #6 reminds me: I have a will, etc. but it’s been awhile. I need to review mine.

    • Nancy Haworth February 23, 2018 at 9:45 am - Reply

      I’m glad this post helped to remind you! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Linda Samuels February 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    This is a great list, Nancy! It’s an act of love to have these things prepared for our loved ones. Grief is hard enough to go through. Having the added frenzy of hunting for the legal and financial puzzle pieces of someone else’s life only adds to the stress and emotions. Both my parents and in-laws spent the time to put many of these pieces in place so that their children would know what to do when the time came. It made a huge difference. My husband and I have done some, but are in the process of updating things. That was a good reminder you gave that this isn’t a once and done process.

  4. Olive Wagar March 3, 2018 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    #5 is an especially good point. I recently reviewed these items with my daughter when she came home for a visit. Although it seemed like “do we really need to discuss this??” I was glad to simply explain a few requests & show her how I had arranged a few things. It was also a good time to remind her why certain keepsakes are special to me!

    • Nancy Haworth March 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      Yes, letting others know is so important. Thanks for commenting!

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