legacy binder

In the name of love: Get your legacy binder together

financial health intergenerational wealth transfer legacy sudden wealth Feb 16, 2021

February, in the US, is often known for being a month dedicated to and all about love. But February should not only be about valentines, it should be about recognizing the love of one-self, family, and friends. As part of your financial health journey, you are building a legacy that will need to be received and/or handled by your family/loved ones at some point.


The greatest gift 


As a financial health coach and social worker (with years and years of experience holding space for people in their grief), I want to impart one of the most loving things that you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to start putting together your legacy binder.


Most of us put this off or are unwilling to face the uncomfortable feelings that tragedy may unexpectedly strike or acknowledge we will pass on. For others, it may be easier not to start because it takes a lot of thought, intention, and work. However, by starting your legacy binder you are leaving your loved ones clarity, strength, and confidence in how to move forward both emotionally and practically during their time of grief. Such a gift. 


Legacy binder


I pulled together a fairly comprehensive list of things to include in your binder to help you get started. I recognize that it may seem overwhelming so I suggest working on it "a little bit a lot".  Schedule time monthly and use a fire proof binder, box, or envelope. 



Legacy Binder (in case of emergency, incapacity, or death): 

  • Letter or video to loved ones
  • Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, Marriage 
  • Certificate and Passports, Education 
  • Degrees/Diplomas
  • Adoption or Guardianship Papers
  • Insurance Information (auto, homeowner’s, renter’s, 
  • health, long-term care, identity theft protection and life 
  • insurance)
  • Estate Plan or Wills and Funeral Instructions
  • Advance Medical Directive and Power of Attorney Forms
  • Defined Benefits upon Death Booklet (for pension plans - says “call this number if someone dies” on it)
  • Financial Accounts Log - all bank and retirement accounts (and designated beneficiaries)
  • Safe Deposit Log w/keys and access instructions
  • Monthly Budget
  • Subscriptions
  • Tax Returns
  • Property Tax Information
  • Money Market and Mutual Fund Statements
  • College Funds
  • Retirement Funds
  • Rental Property Summary
  • Car Titles
  • Home Ownership Records - house/land property 
  • deeds 
  • Passwords and Combinations including social media (FB has a legacy account that can be established)
  • DD214 forms if in the military
  • Info packets for designated legacy facilitators:
  1. Info sheet stating where to find fire safe envelope in the event of an emergency
  2. Business card of the attorney who prepared wills/trust
  3. Copies of wills, advance medical directives and durable power of attorney



If you are interested in more financial health tips and resources, sign-up for my monthly email list. Couples: check out my Financially Healthy Couples course. 

Questions: email [email protected]

Mariah Hudler, MSW, MBA, CFT-I™ is a therapeutically informed financial wealth & wellbeing coach. She works with individuals, couples, families, entrepreneurs, groups, and organizations to make Wealth & Wellbeing a joyful part of life.

Disclaimer: This blog is for education only. Please consult with a qualified professional when you have any questions about your personal financial, tax, or legal situation. Information contained in this post is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace professional advice.

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