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How do you begin with the end in mind?

It seems appropriate that we would look forward to 2021. Not because 2020 was bad but because it’s a NEW Year and it will bring NEW opportunities. As I reviewed some of my family goals for 2020, I realized that one of them was to create a Legacy Box. I had purchased a box in 2019, but I hadn’t taken the time to actually gather the items and place them in the box. This year, I tackled the goal. I started piecing the box together with critical components.

This may sound like some kind of container that is filled with memoirs and keepsakes like a hope chest. While there is a place for that, a hope chest is not what I’m talking about. I’m preparing my personal records. I’m not gathering all of my paperwork, tax returns and account statements. This Legacy Box is very specific to preparing for a major life event or loss of life on earth. It’s a portable file box that contains important information in it, should something suddenly happen to you and/or your partner.

This box might include things like:

· Birth certificates

· Marriage certificates

· Passports

· Social Security cards

· Account numbers

· Life insurance policies

· Retirement account information

· Wills

· Power of Attorneys

· Healthcare Directives

· Contact information for colleagues, friends and extended family

· Login credentials and more!

I’ve had people ask me, if it’s portable can’t someone steal it? The answer is yes, they can. I recommend locking it up in a fireproof safe at your home or finding another secure way to store it. Just make sure that someone you know and trust is able to access it by knowing where it is being stored and how to get to it.

The portability factor of this box isn’t a big deal until someone has a life event. Then, when the Power of Attorney needs to make sure bills are paid and manage the estate, they have all the documents with them when they need them. They aren’t ruffling through a huge unorganized filing cabinet trying to find the current policies, account numbers, and address books.

The Legacy Box that I purchased was inexpensive and well worth the money to have preprinted and color-coded file folder labels. There are also customizable labels to create the files that you need. You can find this item specifically on Amazon. It’s called the Smead Life Documents Organizer Kit.

I highly recommend that this box be reviewed every 6 or 12 months to ensure that the contents are still valid. Things change all the time including passwords and policies. Be sure to include the most current copies of these items. It is a great gift you can give the person who will be responsible for taking care of your affairs.

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