Records for estate plans? Find them!

Finding records - estate planning challengeWe’re still using paper records in a digital world. Keeping track of them is our nightmare.

Torrents of paper stream through our hands, recording every transaction imaginable.  And once they’re out of our hands, where do they all go?

Stacks on the dining room table.  Shoe boxes, file boxes, file drawers, dresser drawers.  Book shelves, garages, attics.  Or lost, who knows where?  My grandma had a big ol’ black patent leather satchel purse with 2 handles, stuffed with envelopes and records.  At least she knew where to find her bills!  She carried this around with her (like a kettle ball) and I can testify: she had strong arms!

We’ve added to the paper whirl with ever-changing, numerous passwords to access those records that have been digitized.  We have shredders, scanners and cloud storage to cope with the avalanche of paper.  

The point is that, it’s HARD to find records when they’re needed, except for those few individuals who were born with the “obsessive organization gene mutation”.  Consider the people left in the wake of a friend or family member’s disabling condition or death.  Proof of income needed?  Copies of last 2 months’ bank statements?  Obscure bank accounts that may or may not exist, and who is the signatory?  Settling health care bills and survivor insurance benefits?  Answers to online security questions?  Names, addresses and phone numbers for close relatives? Most recent original living trust documents? HELP!

I met recently with Julie Jones of Sonoma, creator of the Estate Documents Organizer©. This is a comprehensive set of blank, formatted lists to fill in, with tabs for a binder.  Irony: a paper-based organizing system  to tame the paper tiger!  She has recognized the problem  and put together a tool to help solve it.  An app isn’t the answer to everything.  You use pencil and pen to record your inventory of assets, accounts, passwords, loans, personal identification, etc.  Of course, the Organizer pages must be protected from theft or intrusion and must be updated periodically.  Julie’s system helps people gather these records and find what’s missing.  If you’re up to the challenge, the Organizer is very helpful and practical.

I’m including the Estate Documents Organizer© for a limited time, as part of the Estate Plan Document Package that I offer.  I’ll prepare your will, trust, durable power of attorney, and advance health care directive. You’ll add these documents to your Organizer along with other essential records. So, contact me and I’ll help you get this done.

To prepare estate plan documents like wills and trusts, a complete list of assets such as bank accounts, insurance, vehicles and real estate is essential. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Find information about the Estate Documents Organizer© at

(Note: This information is not to be considered legal advice and is based only on my knowledge of administrative tasks and procedures.  A legal document assistant prepares your legal documents, per your specific direction.   I am not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice, select your forms, or represent you in court.)

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