It happened again. God poking me in the shoulder. Reminding me of the things I have left undone. Do I need to get to the point where it becomes a swift kick to the rear end? This needs to be fixed.
It’s not like I haven’t tried. More than once I have started with a valiant effort, and even sustained it for weeks and months. But it still isn’t done.
My Financial Life Is A Hot Mess
So I am putting it out in public……my neglect and intent to correct it. It is an act of love that needs to happen. I don’t want my kids to walk into a hot mess of paperwork that is my current life in the event of my untimely demise.
I can pretend that I will live forever. That part is easy and there are people that will help you believe that it may be possible soon. Is the singularity really near? Well it probably won’t happen tomorrow. And while I am trying really hard not to die from something stupid, who knows what plans are in store for me.
I Can Deal With The Complexity I Created, But…..
The truth is that my current financial life is a byzantine chart that would confound even savvy advisors. We have gotten that far. There is a map. But it is buried like a lost treasure that would take Sherlock Holmes effort to locate. I need to put it in a more obvious location…….and better yet, tell people where it is.
Putting It All Down On Paper
That is the purpose of the first book – “I love you.” I love you and I don’t want to create unnecessary stress and uncertainty in the event of my untimely demise. Yes, I keep using that phrase “untimely demise” because my current plan is to live to be 120 or so. Anything short of that will be untimely in my opinion. But there is always that proverbial bus that can come out of nowhere and ruin all my future plans.
When There Isn’t A Deadline It’s Easy To Put Off
And that is what is so hard about the whole thing. There isn’t a hard and fast deadline to force you to have all your affairs in order. And how do you even do that when you’re living your life and things are constantly changing? And why do I even want to think about that today? It’s easier to put it off and think I have lots of time. So my solution is to put it in terms of the present.
How Can I Make This Relevant Today?
I am thinking about it as an act of love than I can perform today. And why wouldn’t I want to tell my family that I love them, and I don’t want them to worry or stress or argue? Even if they don’t want to hear it or talk about it right now. As an extra bonus, I’ve discovered that having some of this done is relieving stress I didn’t even know I had.
The Big Book
Some call this book the Legacy Book, or the Big Book. I call it The Book That Says “I Love You.” Call it whatever you want. Just get it done. Give them the map. List it out. Make it clear. And talk about it, even if it makes everyone uncomfortable.
So what do you put in the book? Everything needed to wrap things up and put a bow on your life. I look at it as a central document that points the way to where everything is. It isn’t all the documents itself but rather Command Central. Your personal situation will dictate how complex or simple this book needs to be. But here are some of the questions this book should answer :
Where is my will?
When was it last updated?
Who is the attorney that drafted that document?
What other advisors have I worked with?
Where are my assets located?
Is there a life insurance policy?
What liabilities did I have?
Where are the documents such as property deeds, car titles, birth certificates, social security cards, marriage license, etc. Located?
Where are the bank accounts?
Who is the executor of my estate?
Do they know they are the executor?
This is just a list of things to get you started. It’s meant to give you an idea about what kind of things you need to include. I’m still working on my list. Everything I get done is something that my kids won’t have to do. Think about the last time you watched your kids go through something painful and you wished you could take on that pain yourself. Here’s your opportunity to do just that.
The Little Book
So what is the second book? My bullet journal. Nothing in my life is ever wrapped up. There will always be projects underway. Things in progress. My bullet journal is that map. I started my bullet journal for me as a way to be more mindful and productive and to have a place to document my thoughts and my life. It’s my Command Central for today.
But if I get hit by that bus tomorrow, it can be a resource to see what has been left undone. So until My I Love You Book is finished, there will be a section in my bullet journal for the project. And the bullet journal will be where I remind myself to keep working on it, review it regularly and keep it current.
I Love You.
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