As a homeowner, you’ve got responsibilities for everything from mortgage payments to performing regular home maintenance to ensuring your home is taken care of. But what happens when you die? The National Funeral Directors Association states a mere 21% of Americans have talked to their families about their final wishes, and almost half of the country aged 55 and over doesn’t have a will according to an Age Wave/Merrill Lynch Wealth Management study.
But the problem is that if you’re dead, you’re dead. You won’t be able to redirect anyone to any of your important information, nor to your Bitcoin account. If you don’t already have in place some version of an end-of-life strategy, an estate plan, or detailing your afterlife through a morbid sounding death app – yes, they’re a thing – you need to get yourself organized.
If you don’t, there are so many things the family you leave behind could miss out on. Have you been faithfully paying into a life insurance plan? According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, many life insurance payouts are unclaimed simply because beneficiaries were never made aware of the policies. The same applies to safety deposit boxes, investments, and those sometimes frustrating loyalty points.
How to Prep Financially for When You Die
DomiDocs and industry experts agree you’ll need to have the following informational documents in order and available as part of a general end-of-life contingency plan:
- bank accounts, safety deposit box, Paypal, or cryptocurrency
- charities and membership organizations (some offer accidental death benefits)
- important paper locations: appraisals, birth certificates, deeds, divorce papers, drivers licenses, living will, marriage certificate, mortgage, passports, property deeds, and/or wills
- insurance policies: automotive, health, homeowner, life, title, home warranty, etc.
- investment/brokerage accounts
- list of assets/debts including credit cards
- loyalty points
- power of attorney
- professional contacts: accountant, lawyer
- social security
- utility/recurring bills
- valuables such as art, antiques, jewelry
- veteran’s affairs records
When You’ve Got Your Docs Together, What Do You Do With Them?
DomiDocs provides a convenient repository for any and all financial documents for a user to prepare in advance using our highly secure digital platform. Some niche sites charge for features such as this but with DomiDocs, protected storage is already included. You can upload everything from the above list and more including notes, receipts, photos, and videos of your home for safekeeping.
Embrace a Password Manager
For security purposes, we’re told to never write down our log-in information. But with the dozens or maybe hundreds of sites we access frequently, our usernames and 16+ character passwords including letters, symbols, and numbers, are impossible to remember. A digital password manager stores all of your account information and is accessible with one master password, which you can share with your significant others in your estate arrangements.
Do Your Social Media Accounts Live On After You Die?
Only if you want them to. The obvious, though maybe not user site recommended way, is to share your social media passwords with a trusted loved one, then yes, they’ll technically have unlimited access to your accounts for you to live on through.
But you can also be more selective before you die. Facebook offers the option of designating a legacy contact who can memorialize your page. The same goes for sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. If you’re a Google user, there’s an inactive account manager where your info will be deleted or shared after a certain period of inactivity. This is applicable for all your associated Google accounts including AdSense, Blogger, Gmail, Drive, Photos, and YouTube.
Can You Share Your Digital Assets?
Do you have documents stored in iCloud, books in Kindle, or music in iTunes? And who doesn’t, right? If you want the contents of these accounts to be shared after you’re gone, you’ll need to sneakily pass along your password to someone else before you depart as there’s currently no legacy option in existence for these sites.
While it’s not the most pleasant thought, every one of us needs to plan for our inevitable exit from this life. Think of this organization, planning, and financial prep as one last way to look after the people you love. DomiDocs enables you to increase your home value, as well as to save you time and money, all while providing you with peace of mind even when you’re not around anymore.
Author: Connie Motz