Look Here First

alisandeSeptember 17, 2005

Like many of you on this forum, my fervently-held goal is to get my house decluttered and organized so that the nasty job is not left to my children someday. When I feel I'm falling behind, or otherwise get discouraged, I start to think I'll never accomplish this.

In an effort to do something to facilitate things for my children, I made a file labeled Look Here First, which I placed at the front of my filing cabinet. In it, I put information on my finances, insurance policies, credit cards, safe deposit box contents, valuables in the home, and anything else I could think of. I made a copy for each of my kids.

This morning I sent an email to my kids, telling them where to find it if something should happen to me. My son sent back this response: "Planning on having a wild weekend?"



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What a fabulous idea! Also a great idea for individuals with children in their home, where they tell their own parents, the executor of their will, godparents of the children, etc where to look first in case of an unspeakable emergency. And by the way, you didn't tell us, are you planning a wild weekend?

Enjoy the day!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 11:29AM
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...are you planning a wild weekend?

Ha! As I said to my son, "Hardly."


    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 11:41AM
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Here is a post from a different thread which builds on Alisande's idea:

The last law firm where I worked as a legal secretary gave all clients who had wills and POA docs prepared a bound binder, which included all original documents and tabbed labels for each: "Last Will and Testament", "Power of Attorney", "Health Care Proxy" and "Advanced Medical Directive". I think your idea of giving clients the labeled file of "LOOK HERE FIRST" is excellent and just another client-friendly gesture. Might I suggest that you also include a form which includes most common items (as in Alisande's post) with a long line after each subject to fill in account numbers and other info. They could all be included in one file. People making these decisions are generally confused enough as it is. Anything to make it easier would be most welcomed.

I wonder what is available now, over six years later, to arrange important documents for POA or surviving family members.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 5:52PM
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It's a great idea for anyone, no matter what your marital/children/health situation. Another good thing to have "on file' a a Health Care proxy. Not sure how it works in other states/countries, but in New York all you need to do is fill out a form, sign it (with a witness, not necessarily a notary). On the form you designate a person or two to carry out your wishes regarding medical treatment should you become incapacitated. DH and and I named each other and then our 2 daughters to carry out our wishes. We had a talk with our kids. If the doctor says there's a chance they can save me, let them do what they can. If they say I'm hopeless, braindead, never to recover, let me go.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:50AM
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Here's something to include in the Look Here First folder -- all your passwords. My attorney said he has had to deal with some nightmares trying to access people's accounts which were entirely online. If you pay your bills online and have opted for no mail, your executor really needs to get to those accounts.

I may include my GW name and password so my heirs can let you know that I have croaked.

But seriously -- something to think about. Include a list of important stuff you've been doing online and a way to access it.

I think an executor can gain access by producing a death certificate but that sounds like a giant headache to me. Dealing with a live person is a lot different than dealing with a virtual "person".

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 9:08AM
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Your son made me laugh.

This is really the equivalent of the "ICE" number in cell phones.

i agree w/ the passwords. Though you do have to worry about identity theft--the most likely person to steal your passwords is a friend, neighbor, cleaning lady, etc. So you'd want those somewhere harder to get to.

Maybe your password for online banking ought to go in the safety deposit box or something.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Sounds like a good idea instead of having it in bits and pieces all over the place.
Al;so a note to a good friend as to what to delete LOL

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 12:13AM
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