Nothing lets you know you aren’t prepared for life little disasters, or big ones for that matter, like preparing your will/trust or changing your homeowner’s insurance. We’ve done both within the last nine months. It was a great wake-up call that I needed to get some things in better order.
First off, when we processed our will/trust documents, the attorney needed tons and tons of information, including all our financial assets (bank accounts, retirement accounts, 401k accounts, investments, etc.), real estate holdings, life insurance policies, etc. Fortunately, I had most of that stored on a handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet so it was pretty easy to pull together.
Next we looked into our homeowners insurance and found that we were possibly woefully mis-insured. We had a lot of insurance, but was it allocated correctly (liability vs umbrella policy)? Would it cover individual items or just blanket coverage? Did we have everything appropriately insured (specific jewelry, etc.). Again, an eye-opening project. Several years ago I took pictures of all the rooms in our home, highlighting individual items that may be of significant value. I felt really good about getting that done . . . . . but I haven’t updated it since. My guess is that our TV has changed, for sure the computer, and who knows what else! If something were to happen and we were asked “what computer got stolen?” I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to give them the current make and model. Clearly I have some work to do.
To that end, I started poking around to see if there were appropriate, ready-made life and home inventory packages available. Sure enough I found a few.
Mind you, this is a new project for me too and I haven’t tried any of them, but I thought I’d share what I’ve found in case you are facing the same project I am.
“LifeinCase™ organizes documents into an intuitive five-part system: Personal, Medical, Property, Estate, and Financial each featuring a durable file folder and handy checklist of suggested documents to store.” (from lifeincase.com)
“HomeZada allows you to budget and manage projects, inventory your home, set and track maintenance reminders, and even offers tools for selling or buying a home. From the dashboard, you can track your home’s value, taxes, maintenance expenses, assets, and so on.” (from www.hammerandmoxie.com)
Life Documents Organizer by Smead
“The Life Documents Organizer Kit helps you organize and store key life documents such as wills & trusts, health care directives, investment and retirement plans, marital documents and contact information.” (from www.smead.com)
“Produced as a three-ring-binder, Life Organizer includes 8 tabs with pockets, 15 plastic sleeves for storing copies of important documents, and 1 sleeve to hold 2 DVDs for photo and video inventory, plus dozens of worksheets, checklists, and pages for contact information of family members and professionals.
Whether you’re a baby boomer planning your estate, parent with a new family, or recent grad just beginning to earn an income, it’s a beautiful and helpful organizer for anyone at any age.” (from www.amazon.com)
In addition to accurate records of who we are and what we own, these organizing products may give us something even more valuable . . . . peace of mind.
National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Area Chapter President
Institute for Challenging Disorganization, Six Certificates of Education