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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > You Need A Financial First Aid Kit, Even If You Don’t Write A Will

You Need A Financial First Aid Kit, Even If You Don’t Write A Will


The words “intestate succession” strike fear in some people’s hearts.  They imagine the state gobbling up all of their property, or their estranged son inheriting it and spending it all on marriages and divorces from a series of gold-digging wives.  You have no such fear.  It doesn’t bother you in the least if your closest surviving family members inherit your property, not that you own very much property, anyway.  Therefore, the conventional arguments about why you should write a will do not have much of an effect on you.  Maybe you really don’t need a will, but you do need a set of written instructions.  No matter how young and healthy you are, you cannot afford to wait to write a list of instructions about how the people close to you should access your financial accounts and handle your online presence after you die.  When you are ready to talk about legal matters, contact a Tampa estate planning lawyer.

How Your Financial First Aid Kit Can Make Life Easier for Your Family and Friends

Doug Boneparthe, a certified financial planner from New York, calls it a “death note,” and he addressed his to his wife Heather.  Winnie Sun, a wealth manager from California, prefers the term “financial first aid kit.”  It doesn’t matter what you call it, just as “Swedish death cleaning” and “Scandinavian retirement decluttering” are two names for the same practice, but it is important to make one.

The financial first aid kit is a list of important information that it would be difficult for your family to find, and impossible for them to guess, if you did not tell them, but which does not clearly fall under the jurisdiction of the probate court.  These are some items to include in your financial first aid kit:

  • The passwords to access your devices, such as your phone and computer
  • The account numbers and login information for bills such as your mortgage, utilities, gym membership, and cell phone bill
  • Login information to access your online profiles such as your social media accounts and your personal website, if you have one
  • Instructions for how you want your surviving relatives to announce your death on social media
  • Whether you want your family to take your personal website down, keep it visible with no new content after your death announcement, or continue adding content to it after you die (Roger Ebert’s blog continues to post new movie reviews by his colleagues, more than a decade after his death)
  • The location of your will, if you have written one

Whether or not you write a will, getting through the probate process will be much easier and less stressful if your family knows this information.  Tell at least one family member where you have kept your financial first aid kit.

Contact David Toback About Estate Planning for Non-Materialistic Folks

A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you make your illness and death easier on your family, even if you neither own nor desire wealth.  Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.



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