A lot of time and attention has gone into emergency preparedness in recent years. Many Americans have emergency plans in case of an earthquake or a flood. “Doomsday Preppers” go further, expecting the possibility that they’ll be entirely reliant on their own devices in the near future. In the last few years, we’ve seen firsthand the need for good emergency planning, having plenty of supplies ready “just in case.” Though you might need something different, like an important document organizer, for the everyday emergency.
Yet how many people are truly prepared for the most commonly experienced emergencies?
Emergency preparedness is important, yet even an underground shelter with water and canned goods stored won’t prepare you for the MOST likely emergencies that wreak havoc with our everyday lives: PERSONAL emergencies.
Are You Leaving Your Loved Ones in the Dark?
The fact is that few people know what to do in the event of an accident, injury, illness, or the unexpected death of a loved one. Many people assume that a life insurance policy, a will, health directives, and a durable power of attorney constitute “preparedness.” However, even those who have taken such steps haven’t left instructions about dozens of seemingly small yet essential details.
We work hard at Prosperity Thinkers to help you prepare financially, yet that is only one piece of the puzzle.
- You may have health insurance, life insurance, a will, health directives, and a durable power of attorney… yet does anyone know where to find those documents?
- Does your family know you have a will? Do they know you DON’T have a will? (In other words, don’t make them guess and search for something that might not exist!)
- Does anyone know how to pay your bills and keep your household running in the event of a serious injury or illness? What websites, apps, or phone numbers would they need?
- What would someone need to know in order to care for your pets, your home, or even your children?
- Where are your important papers? Your extra car keys?
- Who knows which bills are on auto-pay? Where should someone look for your email password?
- What about emergency instructions for your job or business? (And the list goes on and on…)
Most of us are leaving our loved ones in the dark when it comes to navigating such details. Fortunately, our friend Lenore founded a company designed to solve the problem!
Emergency Preparedness: The Question that Started a Quest
Many years ago now, Lenore was on an adventure vacation in Ibiza, Spain with family and friends. Hiking along beautiful yet treacherous shoreline cliffs, one of them posed the question: “If something were to happen to one of us, would anyone know what to do?”
The resounding, unanimous answer was, “Absolutely not!”
Although some had made the common preparations such as insurance and wills, they realized all the ways their loved ones would NOT have what they needed. They agreed it would be not simply an emotional burden, but a logistical disaster.
After discussing what friends and family might go through in such an event, one of them looked at Lenore (a technology executive for Fortune 500 companies at the time), and said, “Lenore, DO something about this!”
The Proof of Concept in Action
Lenore would go on to create an important document organizer called The Torch, yet not before she had the chance to experience firsthand the need for it.
Shortly after the trip to Spain, her father became suddenly ill with a condition that impaired his memory for two long months. During this time, the whole family scrambled to run the household.
“How does money get deposited into the bank account?”
“Do statements come in the mail or to email?”
“Are any bills on auto-pay?”
Lenore’s father had always managed the household bills, and her mother was in the dark about how to navigate their finances. Fortunately, her father made a full recovery. Yet soon after, Lenore watched as another family went through chaos and grief following a friend’s disappearance. After he went missing on an extreme surfing expedition, his family searched in vain for months, not knowing if a will or life insurance policy existed.
TheTorch.com: An Important Document Organizer
Lenore knew she had to do something. After researching existing solutions and finding them problematic, she left her position as a corporate executive to create one. A short while later, The Torch was born.
The Torch is an important document organizer designed to communicate instructions for “what if” life scenarios. Using it helps people prepare for emergencies by helping them provide directions to those close to them. Then, if a need were ever to arise, any loved ones have a straightforward guide to “man the ship.”
Using the Torch helps to solve a lot of common problems:
- A whopping $58 BILLION of unclaimed assets are held by the states, largely because people don’t always tell others what they own.
- 28% of Americans live alone. Without something in writing, many states require court approval for anyone, even family, to make medical decisions for them.
- Sharing the name of your doctor ensures you will have the best care possible in the event of an emergency.
- More than $1 billion of life insurance goes unclaimed because heirs do not know the policies exist.
- Over 52% of legal heirs cannot find important documents and therefore receive their inheritance.
- Over 500,000 pets are orphaned because care instructions are not accessible.
- Now that online bill statements are the norm, it is difficult for anyone to pay bills on your behalf without email access or instructions.
ProtectmyPlans.com: Digital Asset Inventory
While The Torch is a great tool to facilitate a depth of communication and provide instructions, it functions even better when paired with digital asset inventory. If The Torch is the “handbook,” then a digital asset inventory is the toolbox. In other words, where one guides your loved ones, the other provides the necessary equipment. This is where Protect myPlans comes in handy.
The truth of the matter is that everything is digital these days. According to Protect myPlans, the average American has more than 130 digital accounts, and roughly $37,000 of unprotected digital assets, if not more. And in the event of an emergency, many people cannot gain legal access to their family member’s assets. This can cause lost email correspondence, loss of financial accounts, and much more. It may even prevent a family member from closing a loved one’s social media account after their passing. This is not simply an emotional burden—it can also lead to post-mortem identity theft.
If you’ve ever wondered how to store passwords in case of death, Protect myPlans offers a solution. With it, you can store your accounts and instructions for financial institutions, social media, shopping sites, and your important devices. This secure platform ensures that only those who need access get it, which can save your estate from fraud and fees.
Emergency Preparedness: Why Use Important Document Organizers?
Platforms like The Torch and Protect myPlans may seem like extra steps, however, they can save your estate and your family a lot of hassle. Here are some reasons to consider these as a part of your emergency preparedness process:
- They’re easy to use, even if you don’t feel organized and don’t have all your ducks in a row.
- The Torch helps you identify your “missing ducks” and gently reminds you of them, while providing helpful resources.
- Protect myPlans helps you identify all of your digital assets, and automatically records new ones as you go.
- Both The Torch and Protect myPlans focus on leaving instructions and records, not sensitive information. Instead of sharing critical confidential information, documents, or passwords, they prompt people to share where to FIND those things.
- They provide a way to update and share the instructions so that loved ones and advisors have the information when they need it.
- The Torch is holistic. From bill-paying to medical concerns, to pets, dependents, insurance, and even where your will can be located, The Torch helps you think of everything. Similarly, Protect myPlans helps you identify and create procedures for all of your digital assets, so nothing in your estate gets left behind.
The use of these tools in your estate planning can give you the peace of mind to move through life confidently.
Light the Way for Someone In the Dark
No one can predict what sort of emergency they may find themselves involved it, yet everyone can prepare for the unexpected.
We are thrilled to recommend The Torch and Protect myPlans to clients, friends, and advisors. We receive nothing for recommending these tools, we simply think they are a brilliant concept and one that we are grateful to have access to.
Nobody knows what the future will bring, but we can each take action now to help our loved ones be not only ready for an emergency but “ready for anything.” If we can help you prepare for emergencies with a whole life insurance policy, we encourage you to connect with us or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further education and resources, sign up for our Prosperity Action Pack!