The Best Resolution for 2021: Create a Financial Scrapbook for Your Loved Ones

The Best Resolution for 2021: Create a Financial Scrapbook for Your Loved Ones
Image by StartupStockPhotos


Narrated by Marie T. Russell

Video version at the end of this article

2020 may be behind us, but unfortunately, the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak continues to set records with devastating results. While those with milder cases may recover at home within a few days, experts say those who must be hospitalized experience an average stay of about two weeks, with some needing extra recovery time in a long-term care facility. The virus is also now the leading cause of death in the U.S. And the loss can leave family members scrambling to understand their loved ones' last wishes, locate important documents, and settle their affairs.

Whether it's COVID-19 or a car accident, we all run the risk of having to rely on someone else to manage our households or access our important estate documents. This year, resolve to be prepared ­­— by creating a financial "scrapbook" for your loved ones.

What is a Financial Scrapbook?

A financial scrapbook is a "how-to" guide and information source that enables a family member or friend to assist you in an emergency or at the end of your life. A financial scrapbook is not a will or an estate document, although it could include that information. Rather, it's a resource that can be used to operate your household, manage children and pets, pause or close accounts, and notify friends and extended family members about your situation.

Your scrapbook could include not only important documents and account numbers, but also your personal directions. Some suggestions include:

  • What bills must be paid each month (such as mortgage and homeowner association payments, utilities, cable, telephone and internet, credit cards, etc.) with account numbers and company contact information

  • Ongoing ancillary household services, with phone numbers and contact names (for grocery delivery, housecleaning, pest control, yard care, etc.)

  • Information about your children's needs, including a list and contact information for schools, extracurricular activities, pediatricians and medical specialists, and an outline of their daily routines

  • Pet care directions and veterinary information

  • A copy of your financial plan, with a list of savings and investment accounts, along with statements for each account

  • Important documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, car titles, property deeds, wills, passports, medical directives, burial plots, etc.

  • Insurance documents with account information (auto, life, health, umbrella, etc.)

  • Tax returns for the past three to five years

  • Login information for all online accounts, including social media

  • Instructions on whom to contact and how in the event of your death (this should include family members, friends, attorneys, insurance agents, funeral homes, government agencies like the Social Security Administration – even your holiday card list!)

As you create your financial scrapbook, make notes as to how often its contents need to be updated, and schedule time on your calendar for regular reviews of your information. You don't want to go to the trouble of getting organized, only to have the information be dated when you need it.

Make It Personal

How you organize your financial scrapbook is entirely up to you, whether it's by topic, such as home, auto, children and pets, or according to those aspects of your life and household that need attention on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

If you have designated a specific friend or family member to access your financial scrapbook, you can also personalize it with pictures or a legacy letter in the event of your death. You could even invite your friend or family member to join you in creating your scrapbook, or work with an elderly parent to create theirs. In the process, you may learn more your family history!

Protect Your Information

Once you've determined what to include in your financial scrapbook, you will also need to decide how to protect it. If you choose to create a physical notebook or place your financial scrapbook on a flash drive, for example, consider how best to protect it from fire or water damage, theft or unwanted access. One option is to install a locking, fire-resistant safe that can be bolted to the floor in a hidden area of your home. While not fool-proof, having a safe enables you to access what you need quickly.

You may be tempted to store your financial scrapbook in a safe deposit box at your bank; however, finding one that offers this service may be difficult since safe deposit boxes aren't as popular as they used to be. Other drawbacks include having to pay storage fees and a potential lack of accessibility. Since the pandemic started, some banks have closed branches temporarily, leaving customers without a way to retrieve their important items.

For those comfortable with technology, an online storage vault may be a preferred option. Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are among the many technology companies that offer secure storage. These services enable you or a loved one with a digital key, such as a pin or "trusted contact" status, to access your files anytime. As an added layer of security, you can password-protect, or encrypt your files to keep hackers from accessing your information.  

Be Prepared

When COVID-19 started to spread in the U.S., some Americans decided to become "preppers," accumulating food, toilet paper and other supplies as a hedge against lockdowns and store closures. Unfortunately, fewer people used the situation to imagine being quarantined in a health care facility, unable to communicate directly with loved ones.

Creating a financial scrapbook and briefing key family members or friends on its contents now, can bring you peace of mind ­­in any situation. 

Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

Book by this Author

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Financial Well-Being
by Wayne B. Titus III, CPA/PFS, AIFA

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Financial Well-Being by WAYNE TITUS CPAAs an entrepreneur, you have the passion and persistence to turn your visions into reality. But that doesn’t mean you have the financial expertise to grow and scale a company or create long-term wealth for your family. To ensure a thriving future, you need a trustworthy adviser with a clear process. In The Entrepreneur's Guide to Financial Well-Being, Wayne Titus draws on his personal experiences and professional background to walk you through finding and building a dependable, communicative relationship with an adviser who has a holistic viewpoint. He also shows you how to partner with someone who will understand the savings strategies of top entrepreneurs and ensure that all aspects of your portfolio—including investing, wealth transfer, enhancement, protection, and charitable gifting—receive proper attention. Your business is personal. With the right person to watch your financial back, you’ll have the freedom to focus on what really matters to you: your family, goals, and company.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here.   

About the Author

Wayne B. Titus III, CPA/PFS, AIFAWayne B. Titus III, CPA/PFS, AIFA founded AMDG Financial and AMDG Business Advisory Services in 2002 based on his 15 years' experience at two large accounting firms working with Fortune 50 clients. He dove into entrepreneurship to make a bigger impact on people's lives. As a fee-only fiduciary adviser, his loyalty is to his clients: he places their interests ahead of his own or his firm's. With assets of more than $200 million, AMDG Financial integrates tax, financial and investment strategies to help clients make financial and life transitions successful on purpose. The company's credo is, "From financial wisdom, better stewardship." His latest book is The Entrepreneur's Guide to Financial Well-Being (Lioncrest Publishing, March 2019). To learn more, visit amdgservices.com 

Video/Interview with Wayne B. Titus IIIYour Guide to Financial Well-Being

Video version of this article:

Back to top


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

You May Also Like

INNERSELF VOICES

internet company logos
Why Google, Facebook and The Internet are Failing Humanity and Little Critters
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
What is increasingly obvious is the dark side that is engulfing the internet and is spreading…
Full moon in the night sky
Horoscope Current Week: October 18 - 24, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
girl wearing a Covid mask outside carrying a backpack
Are You Ready to Take Off Your Mask?
by Alan Cohen
Sadly, the Covid pandemic has been a rough ride for lots of people. At some point, the ride will be…
girl wearing a hat deep in thought
Putting A New Spin On Our Thoughts and Experiences
by Jude Bijou
What goes on in the world, just is the way it is. How we interpret other people, things, and…
illustration of a film strip with various scenic pictures on each frame
Designing a New Future for Yourself
by Carl Greer PhD, PsyD
In the physical world, things have a past and a future, a beginning, and an end. For example, I’m…
teacher standing in front of students in an open classroom
Becoming Passionate About Public Education Again
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
We are almost all lucky to have someone in our lives to encourage and motivate us and try to show…
people walking and bicycling through a park
Finding Your Way and Flowing with The Mystery of Life
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Life. It's something we all have in common, no matter our religion, our race, our gender, our…
Flower growing through a chain-link fence
So Many Questions... So Many Answers?
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
We go through life with so many questions. Some are simple. What day is it? What will I have for…
How To Control Anxiety and Develop Inner Resources
How To Control Anxiety and Develop Inner Resources
by Tom Bunn
What are some of the differences between panic and anxiety? In panic, a person believes their life…
The Maya and Our Contemporary Search for Meaning
The Maya and Our Contemporary Search for Meaning
by Gabriela Jurosz-Landa
People travel to the Amazon to learn from the shamans or to India to practice yoga to expand their…
What To Do When You Get In A 'Spiritual Blackout' Mood
What To Do When You Get In A 'Spiritual Blackout' Funk
by Debra Landwehr Engle
I’m in a spiritual blackout right now, and it’s not pretty. Typically, I feel like I have an open…

MOST READ

How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
by Sonja Grace
As you experience being an earth angel, you will discover that the path of service is riddled with…
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
by Barbara Berger
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult…
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
by Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge
The 1970s anti-sexist men’s movement had an infrastructure of magazines, conferences, men’s centres…
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
According to most of the singles I have met in my travels, the typical dating situation is fraught…
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
by Glen Park
Flamenco dancing is a delight to watch. A good flamenco dancer exudes an exuberant self-confidence…
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to…
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
by Tracy Marks
Astrology is a powerful art, capable of enhancing our lives by enabling us to understand our own…

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.