In 1982, New York publisher Byron Preiss released a book containing 12 puzzles, each consisting of a cryptic verse that had to be paired with a mysterious painting. If solved correctly, each puzzle would lead to a different park in a North American city where he’d buried a small container and key that could be exchanged for a jewel valued at around $1,000. To date, only three have been found – the most recent discovered under home plate at Fenway Park in 2019.
While this modern-day treasure hunt has provided excitement for many across the internet, there’s another form of sleuthing no family should ever have to do – sifting through a loved one’s estate without a will.
While no one can plan for an unexpected life event, we can prepare for them – and map out a secure future for those we love. Here’s how:
Create or update your will. Many people put off creating their estate plan because they think the process will be complicated, but it’s usually quite simple. Plus, the consequences of passing without a plan are steep – probate costs, family frustration, and losing your opportunity to name the next guardian of your children or resources.
Create a love drawer. Leaving a legacy is about more than financial inheritance. It’s pulling together important documents, passwords, policies, family stories, and even handwritten letters into one place for your family – a treasure trove of information they won’t have to hunt for. Some people call this an “ethical” will but to grieving loved ones it will feel like gold.
Communicate your plans. No one likes to talk about mortality, but it’s important to share your plans and intentions with your family. You can clue them into your investments, any gifts you’ve included for a cause or charity, and the personal values that have driven your decisions and life.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to create the ultimate treasure map for those you love.
Take care of the people and organizations you value most with an up-to-date will.