My Love File: 14 Critical Items

by Joe Plemon on January 11, 2010

you find love in the most unexpected places
Creative Commons License photo credit: aWee

Dave Ramsey calls it a Love File, and, because I can’t think of a better name, I do too. What am I talking about?

Ask yourself this question, “If I was to die unexpectedly, would my spouse know where to find the important documents she would need?”

The loving thing is to get all of these documents organized so they can be easily located and understood. If something happens to me, Janice doesn’t need the extra stress of tracking down my will, life insurance policy, etc.   If both of us were to die together, my children would need to know where all of these documents are located. My Love File, therefore, contains these documents.

Written Instructions are Critical

The heart of this file is not the physical documents as much as the written instructions I have prepared which not only describe each document, but also explain it.  Why is this important?   Because even though my wife and children know where my Love File is located, they would still have to dig through each individual document to make sense of it.  I try to keep the hard copies current and update the instructions each January.  Once updated, I email these instructions to my wife and all four of my grown children.

These Love File instructions include the following:

1. Location of wills

2. Names of executor and alternate executor

3. Explanation of executor’s duties

4. Strategies for dividing the estate

5. Location of Living Wills

6. Location of Power of Attorney documents

7. Our Social Security numbers

8. Life Insurance information

Policy Numbers

Names of Companies

Expiration date of term policy

Primary and contingent beneficiaries

Contact telephone numbers and addresses

9. Pension Information (Note that I draw two defined pensions and social security)

Explanation of survivor’s benefits for each pension

All contact numbers and addresses

10. All bank account information

11. All  investment information

12 Location of deed for house

13. Location of titles for cars

14. Location of tax returns (both hard copies and digital file locations

That is it. This year I had to make several minor changes that took me all of about 30 minutes. Not bad for showing my love for my family.

If I left anything out, please drop me a comment. I would greatly appreciate the help!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bucksome January 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Great idea to have a “love” file. One of our goals this year is to (finally) make wills. I guess it is an act of love!


joeplemon January 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Once you have that will done, you will be glad you did. Yes, it is an act of love.


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