News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Do Your Spouse/Family a Favor: Get Your Financial House in Order

We recently had a death in the family, and it brought one thing (among many) into a harsh spotlight: The necessity to leave behind a clear picture of your financial life.

People often say that they have this picture in their heads. They know where all the documents are. They know the passwords and locations of all their accounts. They know the names of their financial and tax advisors. And they know--to the penny--how much they have in each account, when the bills are due, and where all the income comes from.

Give your loved ones a fighting chance
That's great. If only people could see into your brain when you pass on or are incapacitated due to illness. And building off of Toni Krasnic's post yesterday, a ConceptDraw MINDMAP is a great way to capture all this information. This one isn't quite a fun as a vacation map, but it can still relieve your stress--and the stress of those around you:

(You can download this My Earthly Possessions Map for free at

Protect your most important information
Your life may be a lot more or a lot less complicated than what is represented in this map. But you get the general idea. It is, of course, critically important that you keep this map secure, both digitally and if you keep a paper copy. Just be sure that those who may need access to it know how and where to do so.

The mind map format enables you to put in all the information your survivors will need to put your affairs in order. Contact numbers, access codes, hot links to your account pages...

Include notes to help others navigate your accounts
In addition to this "macro" information, you can also add notes to provide more granular information on any element in the map:

Your legacy as a thoughtful, organized person will live on!
Creating a map like this really is one of the more considerate things you could do for your family. Yes, it will take maybe an hour or two. But then you can rest easy knowing that, in the unfortunate event that something happens to you, those you love will not have to rummage through file drawers, emails, and random piles of paper to piece together your financial life on earth.

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