Day 2 of the Creating Your Legacy Notebook series
The basic idea behind a legacy notebook is getting your key info gathered and organized so it is easy to find, reference and maintain. You most likely already have most of the items, it is just a matter of getting them in one place.
Let’s talk about what types of things will be addressed in your legacy notebook.
Some topics may not apply to you and you’ll just skip those. You may have items to add that aren’t listed. That’s why this is your Legacy Notebook – it fits your life and your current situation.
We’ve organized our notebook into five categories: internet, financial, insurance, medical, and legal. We’ll walk through these categories…mostly in the order listed, but I’m easily distracted so no guarantees.
Social media accounts
Cloud storage accounts
Credit card accounts
Auto & Property insurance
Long Term Care insurance
Titles & Deeds
Certificates (birth, marriage, death)
Social Security cards
Wills & living trusts
Advance medical directives
Power of Attorney documents
Organ donation registry info
Bone marrow registry info
Cord blood preservation
Before we get into the details, you need to give some thought to how you want to store the information that will be gathered. You want these items to be secure and protected, but also accessible to the right people at the right time. Some of what we are gathering is truly only needed after your death, but there are other items that you will access and use periodically.
We have chosen to use a binder to hold all the paper docs and use a cloud-based password manager app to maintain our list of online accounts and passwords. The first time we created our notebook we created a spreadsheet to list our online account usernames and passwords, but found that it quickly became outdated and wasn’t as easy to update as we wanted. We have used a password manager program for the last few years and it has worked way better for us, particularly since it seems we are frequently adding new online accounts.
You may prefer to stick with an all paper system or go the hybrid route like we did. As much as I like electronic records and minimizing paper clutter, I don’t think it makes sense to go 100% digital for this project because there are some documents for which you need originals (birth/marriage/death certs, passports, titles, wills).
Securing Your Information
We use a 3-ring binder for the paper docs and store the binder in a safe when it isn’t it use. Make sure you have a secure place to store the paper documents you’ll be gathering, ideally a location that offers some protection from damage due to fire, flood or theft.
Use two-factor authentication (2-step verification/sign on security) for your electronic info. As an extra precaution, I suggest you also password protect any spreadsheets or word processing docs containing sensitive information. This is important personal data and you want to be sure that it is stored securely.
Setting up your notebook
Find a 3-ring binder or expandable pocket file or set of file folders to use for the paper docs. We prefer a 3-ring binder for ease of finding items and separating docs by category, but use the storage system that appeals most to you. The important part is that you have some type of container to store your docs.
Examples of the supplies used (*affiliate links*):
3-ring binder (1.5″ or 2″ width works well)
If your house is anything like ours, you likely have one hanging around at your house that is ready to be re-purposed. Here’s your chance.
notebook dividers or these dividers or these
*Stronger Wallet is an Amazon Affiliate. If you make a purchase using these links, Stronger Wallet receives a small commission.*
Okay, let’s get to it.
- Sign up to get the step-by-step series via e-mail (scroll down, if desired)
- Decide how you want to store your info (all paper or paper/digital combo)
- Gather supplies
- Pour yourself a celebratory beverage for staying with me this far
See you tomorrow!
thanks for reading,
Go here to see all the posts from this series.
The content of strongerwallet.com is provided for general information purposes. Readers should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice about their specific situation.
Get started today!
Enter your name and e-mail to get the Legacy Notebook guide delivered to your inbox. Totally free.
The guide includes everything you need to get started: a cover sheet and divider pages to set up your notebook, an overview of each topic, checklists, worksheets, and writing prompts to guide you through the process.