By Mike Forman
COO and VP, Chief Financial Officer, Blumberg
In a world of fast paced, online financial data, it has become increasingly difficult to manage and maintain all our information. Paper vs. paperless, websites, user names and passwords as well as data encryption have most of us struggling to keep a handle on all of it. Now imagine your loved ones having to figure all this out upon your passing. Trying to locate your assets, life insurance and related documents could be a monumental task. Where would they begin?
Even if they were able to identify where every asset was located, trying to gain access to these accounts would be a daunting task. Attorneys and forensic accountants could assist in this endeavor, but at a cost of $400 to $500 an hour, this could prove to be a very expensive process. After a certain amount of time, these assets could end up being transferred to the state’s unclaimed property department, which could make locating and taking possession of the assets even more difficult.
In most households, there is typically one individual who manages the finances, including insurance, bills and associated contacts. In the event of their passing, this responsibility will need to be taken on by someone, but, again, where do they start? Immediately after the death of a loved one, most people are too emotionally overwhelmed to begin to deal with these responsibilities, yet it needs to be done and be done in a timely manner. Preparing for this event is the best way to eliminate the unnecessary stress placed upon your loved ones. Storing all your data in a neat and well-organized fashion not only allows you to efficiently maintain the data for your own convenience, but gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve saved your loved ones a tedious and potentially costly process.
The Summa is a personal information and document organizer which neatly stores and organizes all your financial, life insurance and medical-related documents as well as contact information in an easy to use system. The Portfolio includes a binder with data pages that are separated by numeric tabs. Each of these tabs assist you in arranging your information in category-specific sections (Personal Information, Passwords, Medical information, Contacts, etc.). Summa also includes plastic sheet-protectors in which to store copies of key documents as well as digital data (cd rom, thumb drive, etc.). Summa comes with a CD Rom which contains an electronic version (Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat) of the questionnaire for those who prefer to use their computer instead of a pen and paper. After you’ve completed the forms, saved them, and printed them to insert in the binder, updating the forms is a snap. Just edit the saved file, print and replace the outdated copy in the binder.
On a personal note, I’ve seen firsthand how difficult it is to begin the process of locating information upon the loss of a loved one. As a financial professional, I consider Summa an excellent solution, one I recommend to friends. I used it myself to organize my own information, and It’s a relief to know that I may have dramatically reduced my family’s worries. Because it contains sensitive information, such as passwords, I keep the binder in my safe. The Summa system is the most complete and comprehensive personal document organizer I’ve seen. The system allows you the peace of mind to know that your loved ones will have at their fingertips all the information they need to follow your wishes.
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If you wish to provide Summa, personalized with your clients name and your firm name gold lettered on the binder, contact Lorraine at 800 221-2972 x1616 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.