Will You Leave Memories or a Headache?
Michael handled all the family paperwork. He was meticulous in making sure that everything was paid on time, he knew the family’s finances like the back of his hand. Mostly he paid the bills on the web and he had a system for keeping all the account user names and passwords so that he could access everything just when he needed it. It all worked like clockwork until the day that Michael died. There was no warning, a massive heart attack and Michael was gone.
One Big Headache
That was the day that the real headaches started for Michael’s wife Angela and for their three children, one married and living nearby, one at college and one, a teenager, still living at home.
The family had never talked about death, as far as they were concerned it was many years away. Michael had a good life insurance policy which would provide for their needs and that was all they needed to know.
From that very first day the reality began to set in. There were so many thing that had to be organized and so many people, companies, officials and organizations that had to be notified. Funeral arrangements had to be made, notifications to government departments, insurance companies and banks.
Angela quickly started to become overwhelmed. She realized that she did not have a clue where to find any of the documents that she needed. Everyone she contacted wanted an account number or some other information and she didn’t have a clue where to look. Even the life insurance company had changed names from the one she thought she remembered and she didn’t know who to contact to get emergency funds to keep the household running.
If only Michael had thought to leave her all the information that she needed, clearly indexed in one place, she could have concentrated on the process of grieving and remembering the happy times they had shared together rather than the frustration of just trying to keep her daily life afloat.
Experts estimate that it can take between 400 and 1000 hours to sort out the affairs of someone who dies and this task is made so much harder when everything that is needed has to be searched for. This task is usually left to the grieving family and many times interferes with the process of grieving making the sense of loss that much more profound.
The Greatest Gift
Today, more than ever in our digital world, it is important to make available the information that our loved ones need to settle our affairs. In these days of Identity Theft it is understandable that many people do not want to share their account numbers, user names, passwords and much other information while they are alive or to leave them where they can easily be found and compromised.
More and more people are turning to secure storage media to keep an accessible record of all their information so that when the time comes and it needs to be passed on to others it is safe, secure and accessible only to those they choose.
Leaving this information in a readily accessible form is possibly the greatest gift we can give to our loved ones when we die. It will turn the headache and frustration of sorting out our affairs into a simple and orderly experience that will not be a burden to those who are left.