MemoryBanc: Your Workbook For Organizing Life

MemoryBanc: Your Workbook For Organizing Life

by Kay H. Bransford

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Overview

Secure your financial and online assets with MemoryBanc Your Workbook For Organizing Life. Today, more than $58 billion is sitting with state and federal treasurers representing bank accounts, insurance, tax returns, and retirement accounts that were lost in the shuffle of a move, personal crisis, or death. Nearly half of adults over forty can expect to face a short-term disability before they reach sixty-five and 70 percent of American’s over sixty-five will need three years of care and support.
MemoryBanc makes it easy to document accounts, usernames, and medical history so they can be easily found or shared should they ever be needed by a spouse or loved one. It also helps couples that divide and conquer stay on the same page and gives individuals a way to easily hand over important information should it ever be needed. With the help of MemoryBanc, readers no longer have to store their information in their heads, on their phones, in a file, or under a keyboard—they now have one place that captures it all.
Find out how easily it is to secure your assets with MemoryBanc Your Workbook For Organizing Life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630472498
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 05/05/2015
Edition description: Workbook
Pages: 210
Sales rank: 950,184
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Kay Bransford learned the complicated ropes of caregiving while assisting her ailing parents, and in the process created a program that would help other caregivers organize their loved ones’ important documents and navigate the legal aspects associated with care. Now Kay is a modern-day Paul Revere warning families in her book, MemoryBanc: Your Workbook For Organizing Life (named “Older-Adult Focused Innovation” by the AARP Foundation), about the importance of documenting online personal, financial, medical, and household details so the information can be easily found and shared should it be needed. Forbes, The Dr. Oz Show, The Huffington Post and other media outlets have turned to Kay to educate families, caregivers, and retirees on this issue.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

How to Use MemoryBanc to Fight Information Overload

We are bombarded and overwhelmed with information. What used to only come in the mail now also arrives by email, text, and phone. The roster of personal papers we used to keep in a file cabinet or in our safe now includes account numbers, usernames, passcodes, PINs, and security questions we have stored in our heads, under our keyboards, and on our mobile devices.

When asked, we don't always know where to find our own information. We might be surprised to learn how much of our information is stored digitally, but usually only notice when the power is out, our computer crashes, or a website is down.

Then there's the problem of who knows what. Whether you live on your own or with family members, you may manage only a portion of your financial and household responsibilities. In many homes, management is divided among various people.

Of course, you still need to consult professionals to assist with your estate and financial planning. But this workbook will help you organize the financial, health, and other important details of your life. Having easily accessible information from your bank accounts to medical records will help you and your family retrieve this data quickly and easily when it is needed.

This workbook contains a variety of worksheets to help you organize, record, and protect your information, accounts, documents, usernames, and passcodes. Complete the worksheets and store a copy at home, in a place you and your loved ones can access. You can make copies, write in pencil, and reuse pages as information changes.

If you'd prefer a more portable and paperless organization system, you can order a flash drive that arrives preloaded with MemoryBanc pages in an editable PDF format so you can add, edit, and store your information digitally. It comes with 2 GB of space, enough to include estate papers, personal documents, and photos — any files you would like to secure. To learn more about this option, visit the registration/order discount form in the back of this workbook or our website at www.MemoryBanc.com.

Five Steps to Collecting and Compiling Personal Details

Filling out this workbook the first time requires your careful attention. The completed worksheets should be reviewed at least once a year since this information changes over time.

Step One: Review the MemoryBanc

To begin, review each section of the workbook and inventory the information you will need.

Step Two: Collect the Data

Collect the information so you are ready to fill out this workbook. If you are not organized, it may take some time to locate all the information — all the more reason to complete this workbook. This will be the last time you need to go on this type of scavenger hunt.

Step Three: Complete the Worksheets

You can now fill out the workbook. Don't feel like you have to tackle it all in one sitting. Set up several 15-minute or half-hour appointments with yourself or your loved ones. Most people find that two or three appointments will be enough time to get the bulk of the workbook completed.

Follow the prompts and complete each section. We recommend you have Post-it notes on hand to flag missing information so you can easily return to complete a section.

If you are completing this workbook for multiple members of a household, use the field "Name" at the top of the worksheets to designate the person to which the information applies. Likewise, for the worksheets related to a physical location, use the field "Service Address" at the top.

Step Four: Store and Share This Information

Find a safe place to store your workbook and make sure that you share its location with those individuals who would step in to help, should you ever need it.

For safekeeping, we recommend you make a copy of the completed pages and keep them in a secure location. Many families have given a copy of their completed forms to a loved one, so in an emergency, the person you choose to step in to help you would have all the information he/she would need. Include copies of your medical directives, durable power of attorney, will, and trust if you have them.

Step Five: Set Up Regular Review Periods

This is not a process you do once and never look at again. You will add and change financial services providers, continue to accumulate medical history, sign up for new online accounts, or purchase a new home, car, and appliances. Use the schedule on page four to record your updates as you make them.

At a minimum, you should review this workbook annually. We also recommend reviewing it if you experience any major life changes such as a move, job change, death of a loved one, and health concern.

Update Schedule

Name _______________________________

Keeping Your Information Up to Date

Use this schedule to keep track of the updates you have made to your workbook. As mentioned, we recommend you review it at least once a year to keep it current.

CHAPTER 2

Personal Section

Starting at the Top: Documenting Personal Record Details and Locations

If you have ever had to support a loved one as a caregiver and managed their personal accounts, you are aware of the number of documents and details you will be asked to provide. This section will prompt you through the process of collecting and documenting the basic details about you and your spouse, children, beneficiaries, and key contacts. It also features a quick locator for crucial personal documents.

Some of the steps will help you in the event you lose or misplace a purse or wallet or are applying for a loan, and other steps will help should a loved one ever need to step in and assist you.

* * *

In 2014, Consumer Reports noted that 29 percent of online consumers' home computers were infected by malicious software. For this reason, we recommend you do not store any of your confidential information on your computer unless you are using proven encryption software. That encryption software, however, might also prevent your loved ones from accessing information they may need if you are Incapacitated.

* * *

In addition to completing these pages, make color copies of the items in your wallet as well as copies of other key documents. You'll want to include these:

• Driver's license

• Credit cards

• Social Security card

• Military identification card

• Passport

• Immigration or citizenship papers

• Birth certificate

• Adoption papers

• Marriage certificates and prenuptial agreements

• Divorce or separation papers

• Service records (especially your DD214)

• Professional license numbers and/or educational transcripts that would be required to claim specific benefits for services

There are a variety of instances where you might be asked to provide copies of these documents. As an executor, I needed to provide a color copy of my father's driver's license, his service records, and marriage certificate as well as his death certificate to claim benefits and transition accounts into my mother's name. Having these documents already organized made handling these matters simple.

If you have a home safe, specify the location with instructions on how to open your safe. If you have a bank safe deposit box, you will need to set up signatory access in advance as well as leave an address and key.

Storing your documents in a bank safe deposit box that your loved ones cannot access may make it very difficult for them to retrieve needed documents when they need them. For those with a durable power of attorney and medical directives, if the only copies reside in your bank box, how could they be used when they might be needed? For those who have their will stored in a bank box, it could be very difficult to access after your death. In Virginia, if you die and no one has signatory access, your loved ones will have to present a death certificate, and a sheriff is called. If your relatives cannot produce the key, the bank will call a special locksmith, and your family will bear the cost of drilling and replacing the drilled box.

The reality is that someone will need to step in and assist you before you die. Instead of storing your critical documents in a bank safe deposit box, consider a fire- and water-resistant safe. Consumer Reports recommends getting a safe with at least 30 minutes of protection from fire. If you do not live in a major metropolitan area, or want to store film, digital media, or sensitive papers, you should contact a reputable, safe firm for a recommendation.

Name _____________________

Personal Profile

OTHER BENEFICIARIES

CONTACT INFORMATION

Key Contacts and Advisors

FINANCIAL ADVISOR

ATTORNEY

ACCOUNTANT

INSURANCE AGENT

PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE/EXECUTOR

SPIRITUAL/CLERGY

OTHER

GUARDIAN/TRUSTEE

In the event I become incapacitated or am disabled and unable to manage my own affairs, I have named this person (other than a spouse) to act as my guardian or trustee:

Name/Company _____________________________

Phone (_____) ____________ Email__________

Address __________________________________

Please visit the Medical Section starting on page 81 to record doctors, dentists, therapists, and other individuals related to your healthcare.

Location of Important Personal Documents

Licenses and Certifications

Additional related details or important information ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________

Frequently Asked Questions about Organizing Personal Information

Q: Can I make copies of this workbook?

A: Once you have completed the forms, we hope you will share copies of the completed pages with those individuals who you trust. If you would prefer an expandable system that allows for easy updates, free refills, and additions, you should consider the MemoryBanc® Register™. The Register includes 8.5 x 11 inch preprinted workbook pages delivered in a three-ring leather-like binder and Personal, Financial, Medical, Online, Household, and Other section tabs. This edition can be tailored to meet your specific needs as your information changes, assets grow, and medical and online accounts accumulate. To learn more about this option, visit the registration/order discount form in the back of this workbook or our website at www.MemoryBanc.com.

Q: I would like to complete this workbook and give a copy to my son. I'm worried about burdening him with the task of being my advocate or executor. What have other families done?

A: Many families have avoided discussing how loved one's could help if a crisis strikes and because of it the library is filled with scores of books to help adult children who are thrust into a decision-making role and aren't prepared. The best thing to do is ask your child(ren). If you need some help getting the conversation started, check out The Other Talk by Tim Prosch, who offers practical advice and some communication tools to foster an open, honest discussion on this very subject.

Q: I gave this workbook to my mom, but she wasn't interested in sitting down with me to work on the content. How have others overcome their loved ones' resistance?

A: You won't be the first adult child who Mom or Dad has shooed out of the room when you bring up this topic. However, one of the best ways to start this conversation is to ask your parent(s) if you could count on them to be your backup, and share how you have documented your wishes using MemoryBanc and where your information is stored. You may need to revisit the topic a few times before they are ready to share information with you. Ideal times to work with them on the workbook include:

• When they ask you to be their executor or share their estate planning documents with you. Let them know you are honored to be asked and request that they schedule some time to sit with you to share the information you would need to fulfill this role.

• When something has happened to a family friend. This can be a good time to warmly ask how your parent might want you to help if your family was faced with a similar situation.

• At family gatherings when all siblings and/or children are together. You could ask where your parent has put information like a personal medical history or healthcare wishes to open up a conversation.

If a parent has cognitive impairment, there may never be a good time. It could be that the person doesn't remember much of the information and is afraid of you finding this out. In this case, you will have to focus on finding mailings and checking files to collect the information you need. A cell phone with a camera can be an easy way to gather information without Mom or Dad feeling as if you are taking over all their paperwork. In general, you will need to be patient, take it slow, and look for windows of opportunity to raise these issues. A useful resource if you have a loved one with a suspected cognitive impairment or a dementia diagnosis can be found at DealingwithDementia.org.

Q: As a parent of adult children, shouldn't I know what my kids expect if something were to happen to one of them?

A: Yes. If there is someone in your life that would turn to you for help, giving them a copy of this workbook is a positive way to let them know you would help, should they ever need it.

Q: How do I respond to Dad when he tells me his attorney or accountant has all of this information?

A: While the attorneys might have the documents, they typically don't have their clients' medical records, online passcodes, or personal contacts. Ask Dad if he expects that the attorney will be joining him on medical visits and paying bills. If not, suggest he speak with his attorney on how to ensure someone is able to help him, should it ever be needed.

Q: My mom named me on her durable power of attorney form — isn't that all I need to help her?

A: The durable power of attorney was the most important document I held that allowed me to help my parents when they were unable to act on their own behalf. Some institutions readily accepted it when I provided a copy, and I was quickly added to their accounts. However, in several cases it was very difficult to use. Even though my state (Virginia) has a statute saying an institution is obligated to accept the document, one financial institution would not accept it because it was more than two years old and a second refused because it was more than five years old. Some institutions took several months to process it before I was granted the ability to make any changes to the account.

If you don't have a durable power of attorney, you can request and complete the "power of attorney" form from the specific financial institution. These forms are designed to allow account holders to define individuals and access rights. You will have to complete one from each institution for access, and these immediately take effect. But if someone is incapacitated, it will be too late to go this route. These documents require a notary to validate identification, and the signer will need to be alert and have decision-making capacity.

Q: My sister named me as executor in her will. What do I need to know?

A: The job of executor is an honor that includes a huge responsibility. It could require hours of work over several weeks and months, and it demands great attention to detail. If you have been asked to fulfill this role, we recommend, at a minimum, that you give her a copy of this workbook to document her estate. If she has also named you in her durable power of attorney, or on her healthcare directives, in addition to being sure to have a valid copy of the legal documents, ask her to review this workbook with you annually so you have what you need to fulfill this role.

CHAPTER 3

Financial Section

Creating a Treasure Map: Organizing Financial Records and Account Details

In 2013, CNNMoney reported that $58 billion in "missing money" was sitting with state and federal treasurers. This includes insurance policies, bank accounts, 401(k) plans, federal tax refunds, U.S. Treasury securities, and even physical assets lost in the shuffle of moves, personal crises, and death. The use of online credit and payment tools is only going to accelerate the contributions to this unclaimed money pool.

What many people don't realize is how quickly their financial information changes. Regularly updating the details makes it easier for you to access your accounts while providing a simple way to check that none of your money is lost in a move or personal crisis.

If you have gotten remarried or divorced, or have experienced the loss of a close family member, you should also review the named beneficiaries on your accounts.

One way to easily manage your accounts is to set up online access. You can easily initiate bill payments, access old bank and credit card statements, and even update services. While I held durable power of attorney for my parents, having online access to their accounts gave me the ability to easily and quickly help manage bill payments and household accounts.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "MemoryBanc"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Kay H. Bransford.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter1 How to Use MemoryBanc to Fight Information Overload
Chapter 2 Personal Section
Chapter 3 Financial Section
Chapter 4 Online Section
Chapter 5 Medical Section
Chapter 6 Household Section
Chapter 7 Etcetera
Appendix The Basics of Estate Planning
About the Author
Acknowledgements
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