5 Minutes on Organization

Contributing Writer: Betsy Ogren, Inheritance of Hope Events Director

Creating an intentional lasting legacy sounds intimidating, right? Where do we even start? This library is designed to walk you through the process, and it starts with some clear, specific tasks. Here, we will focus briefly on the previously defined dictionary definition of legacy. Whether or not you have a diagnosis, here are some foundations to consider.

Pulling together legal and financial documents is priority number one. There are many checklists and resources available to help. Once you have everything together, make sure close family know where to locate it, and remember to update information each year.

1. Your will is the first priority. Find a local attorney who can guide you through.

2. Reach out to a financial advisor in your area to get your financial plans in place. If you are looking for a place to start, watch this Inheritance of Hope webinar with Tom West.

3. There are many resources available to document your household information such as passwords, taxes, financial accounts, bills etc. Here are a few:

4. Five Wishes is an advanced directive or living will resource booklet that is easy to complete.

When you have paperwork together, consider adding a few personal notes. If your household is anything like ours, there is a division of labor that has naturally developed over time. One of us refills the water softener salt. One of us refills the lunch accounts at school. One of us knows how to work the tricky latch of the basement door. One of us knows that kids need to register for spring soccer in October! What are a few of the details you handle for your family that could help make a transition smoother if someone was taking them over?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • How to register and pay for kids’ activities.
  • Are there email lists you are on to receive updates and information from schools, church, other kids’ activities?
  • Note the name of an adult friend at each child’s school and in each major activity who could be called in case of questions. 
  • What are the details (website/login) for keeping up with kids’ grades, attendance, assignments, teachers, lunch money?
  • How often do you change furnace filter, the filter for water in the fridge, add water softener salt?
  • Do you have legacy items tucked away for kids such as letters, gifts, scrapbooks, videos?
  • If you have shopped ahead and have Christmas or birthday presents tucked away, where would they be?
  • What is the phone number of your plumber, electrician, lawn mower/snow blower maintenance person?
  • Do you have traditions with holidays or birthdays that are meaningful to note? We decorate bedroom doors with streamers and balloons the night before a birthday.

We won’t spend much more time on logistics because we focus on legacy development at Inheritance of Hope, but we want to give you a starting point to work from. Good luck getting organized!