I just wanted to take a moment this morning and point out why it’s so essential to let someone know where important documents and files are located.  Here are two instances:

1-Life insurance-I regularly talk to people that have experienced the death of loved ones and found old life insurance policies years later out in coffee cans in the tack barn or in a safe deposit box nobody knew about.  Just this last April 7,525 individuals in New York found out they were owed money from old life policies.  That ended up being over $95 million in payouts.  These policies would have helped out the families significantly in their time of need.  Financial problems after the death of a loved one can not only cause financial hardship, but also severed relationships between family members that are totally unnecessary.  All of these problems would be avoided if the policies and documents were located in a safe place where a few trusted individuals knew where to find them. 

2-Financial planning/investments-Very often, only one person in a household will completely handle these matters and the other is left in the dark. That’s the same thing we do in business.  It’s called “division of labor”.  It is a great principal but we need to be aware of the inherit weakness therein.  Even if the person in charge is extremely organized, it will be disastrous if something were to happen to this person.  I have spoken with numerous families that have dealt with this very issue as well.  After the death of their family member, it took them weeks, months, or even years to figure out where all the investments were, as well as which bills to pay and when to pay them. So it is not only important to have all of this information in ONE secure place, but also to make sure that your loved ones know what that information is and how to access it!

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