Listen to Lawrence…An Instruction Manual of your Life for your Children

DAVIDOWLAW Uncategorized

Dear clients and friends,

I hope you all had a nice weekend.

Here is another question and my answer:

What kind of information should I prepare for my children in case something happens to me?

Generally, the more organized you are, the easier it will be for your family when the inevitable happens. Handling an estate is sometimes akin to working on a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, examining each piece of paper found around the house and then putting them all together to create a coherent picture. It doesn’t have to be this way though; it would be so considerate if you provided that picture for them. On the other hand, you may find it amusing to leave a mess behind! 😊

The best advice I can give you is to write it all down, manually or digitally, like an instruction manual of your life. The next best thing would be to at least have all of your important information in one place, like a file drawer or a box on the floor under your shoes in the closet. It would also be nice if you told someone where they could find this manual or box.

The information should include but not be limited to the following:

complete list of your assets and sources of income
all beneficiary designations
all life insurance policies
family tree with names, addresses and telephone numbers
burial information
where to find all original documents, like your will or trusts or deeds
names of your professionals, like your lawyer, accountant and financial planner
access to your digital life

I think you get the idea. The more information, the better, and clearly the list is bigger than the above. To assist you in getting started with this project (and you know you have plenty of time on your hands right now, so no excuses) I have a WHAT MY FAMILY SHOULD KNOW manual that you can use. If you are interested in this free manual, send us an email to and we will send you a copy.

By the way, regarding your digital life, you may wish to leave a master list of all your user names and passwords in your safe deposit box. I had one client, last week, tell me that he puts all his passwords in a digital locker called Dashlane, and then just leaves his password for Dashlane in his safe deposit box. He went even further by setting up a system where his phone will be alerted when anyone accesses his Dashlane account and he has one hour to deny access. Presumably, after his death, he won’t be denying anyone access during that hour! 😊

I hope this helps.

Please pass this information to your family and friends and continue to keep your questions coming! If you are thinking about it, others are probably thinking about it too, so my answers will no doubt help you and many others. Let’s stay connected.