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What is a Death Binder in End-of-life Planning?

Death is both inevitable and painful. Planning for your death is not the most cheerful subject to talk or think about, but life forces us to do just that. With age comes the realization that the prospect of our death is more painful for people who love us than for ourselves. You and I cannot escape death, but we can at least plan for it. Planning for your death is the most gratuitous thing you can do for your family and loved ones. A death binder is a tool that helps you do that.

A death binder has many names. Some call it an end-of-life binder, others call it a family emergency binder or financial information binder. Whatever you call it, the basic purpose and uses remain the same. Your death binder is designed to store all your financial information in one place. It is a compact way of storing all your financial and other important documents. The advantage of having all your important papers in one file is such a blessing for your family once you are no more. You would be helping them while they are in the throes of grieving your death.

How to make your death binder

There is no strict formula to a death binder. What you need to keep in mind is that this has to be the ONLY place where you store your documents. Alternatively, you can put a copy of the document in the binder along with a note saying where the original can be found. It’s also good to have someone familiar with the contents and location of documents, most often a close family member or trusted friend.

Customize your death binder however you want. Organize it into different sections, each for categories like housing, insurance, health, car, etc. If you are more comfortable with screens than with papers, you can do the same thing on your computer. The idea is to have safe storage for each and every important document that you accumulate over a lifetime. Some funeral homes even offer folders or information packets. Just remember to keep the underlying principle in mind: have everything organized in one place so it is easy to make arrangements for your death.


Thanks for reading,