How do you prepare your photo collection for the worst case?
Living in the bushfire prone outskirts of Melbourne, in beautiful Nillumbik – which is also called the green wedge – has triggered my passion for keeping photo collections safe at all times but especially during summer.
It can be a very overwhelming project and there is no doubt it is usually very time consuming. Read in this guest blog how you can prepare and backup your photos before natural disaster hits. If you are time-poor, the quick solution will be scenario 2 mentioned in the article. I call it the ‘Grab and Run’ scenario. Ideally however, you are able to set some time aside and work on your photo collection to prepare it even more. Either way, you will gain peace of mind knowing that your photos are as safe as they can be.
What if your house burns down tomorrow? What if your child is hospitalised? What if your jewellery gets stolen in a burglary? What if you are required to handle a deceased estate? Are you prepared?
Things happen and we all know it! But we also hope that they are not going to happen to us. And I sincerely hope that your life is a happy one with no tragic events.
Personally, I would describe myself as an optimistic and positive thinking person. Nevertheless, I would also describe myself as realistic. At least I try to be realistic and not to overreact in most cases. From my life experience, I know that things can and do happen, sometimes totally unexpectedly. I’m pretty sure if you are reading this, you have experienced this as well.
So, what is the last thing anybody wants to do when something has happened, like an accident, an illness or even death? Looking for paperwork! This is certainly one of those things no one wants to do during an already stressful situation.
Of course having all your critical documents sorted and documented can help this. You know this. However, have you done it? Does anybody else apart from you know where to find your vital documents? More often than not, the answer to this is unfortunately a big NO.
Why you should put your affairs in order NOW!
I would like you to think about this a bit longer. Even if nothing bad happens throughout your life, one thing will ultimately happen – we all have to die. Maybe not a nice thought, but a very real one. Have you ever thought about the state of your affairs that you leave to your loved ones? They will be grieving for you and certainly don’t want to go through all your possessions at this point in time to find a certain piece of paper they may need!
I encourage you from the bottom of my heart to do something about it now! If not for yourself, do it for your loved ones. Yes, it is a bit time consuming and most people find paperwork really tedious. However, it’s a one-off time and work effort, and once it’s done I guarantee you peace of mind.
How you and your loved ones can benefit
I’ve heard people say: ‘I don’t care what’s going to happen when I’m gone!’ Really? Do you truly want to add stress to your loved ones?
Sorting your affairs will benefit not only them but also yourself. Because it’s not just about dying -other things can happen. What if you travel and your passport and credit card are stolen? If you have a system going, these things will be scanned, quickly accessible and can be replaced much quicker than if you don’t even know your passport number. Or what if you have an accident and end up unconscious in hospital? You will certainly benefit if someone close to you has immediate access to your medical files that the hospital might need.
These are the top 5 benefits for everyone involved:
Less stress. You will feel less stressed if you need to access your important papers because you know what you have and exactly where everything is. This goes even more for your loved ones: they will most likely feel very stressed if something happens to you and be grateful forever if they know where to find the necessary documents.
More time. You will need to invest some time to get it all sorted. However, you will save a lot of time whenever you need a document because you don’t have to look for it anymore.
Better relationships. First of all, your family will probably be extremely grateful if you sort your stuff yourself. When dealing with important paperwork, you might also find gaps. For example, there might not be a will, but you always wanted to do one. Or you might realise that you would like to write down funeral instructions. Of course, it’s always good to not only write these things down but to actually talk about it in the family. I know this is not easy, but from my own experience, I know it’s such an immense relief to do so, and it can deepen relationships.
More money. If you have a complete overview of what you own and/or don’t own, you’ll have much better control of your finances. Also, when dealing with financial planners, bankers, tax accountants, etc., you always need to supply them with data that can be found in those important documents. If these service providers work on an hourly rate, you will save heaps of money by being organised!
More confidentiality. Sound weird? Well, if someone needs to find one of your documents and hasn’t got a clue where to find it, they might go through every drawer and cupboard in the house before they find the document (if they find it at all, because it might be stored in the bank or with an attorney or possibly not even exist – ever heard of those families that found a will months after the passing, after having spent loads of money on lawyers?). If they know exactly in which drawer to find your medical records, it will be easy as pie to find them, and they won’t find old love letters or other stuff you might want to keep confidential.
Still not convinced that being prepared is worth the effort? Well, then ask yourself this: if your very best friend were hospitalised tomorrow, would you want to help? Would you feel stressed? Would you know where to find her/his medical documents that the doctor urgently needs to help? Imagine if she/he had everything well sorted and documented and you only needed to read where the records are stored to get to them quickly. Would this be great or not?
Simply In Order can help you whether you choose to do it yourself or to engage a Certified Personal Document Specialist. We offer a free initial consultation, call 0413 216 589 to book today or find out more about Family DocuMap here.
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