Even though we all realize, at some level, that we will one day die, we tend to ignore the practical realities that our death will have on our families. Even if we don’t die and are hospitalized or incapacitated, the emotional shock that our families will experience is often compounded by the many practical gaps we leave behind. You can do a lot to help your family through this difficult time by creating an emergency book.
An emergency book is simply a collection of all the important, vital information that your family will want to know about in the event something bad happens to you. The book contains anything that could be of assistance, but especially personal information that only you know about, or details that you think your family needs to know.
For example, it’s a good idea to collect information about your financial assets, investments, and related information. Detailing what credit cards you have, memberships to clubs or organizations, as well as biographical or family information you need to access certain information is also important.
You should also include details about your taxes, insurance policies, and more mundane information such as a household budget or even house maintenance duties that you have yet to perform, such as changing the air filter on your furnace.
Because some of this information is necessarily confidential or could be damaging if it falls into the wrong hands, you should keep your emergency book in a safe place, such as a safe or a bank safe deposit box. But you also need to make sure that a close family member or trusted adviser knows where it is and can access it should an emergency arise.