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We all know that we should have legal documents and an estate plan in place for our heirs and loved ones. Often, however, these official documents fail to fully capture practical and sentimental information we would like to leave behind in the event of a sudden tragedy.

Many people gain a sense of peace by putting together a "love box" or file to help their children, loved ones, or personal representative navigate life after they are gone. This "love box" can be a shoebox, file drawer, or notebook and can contain documents and other meaningful items. Below are items commonly included, to help you get started on your own "love box."

-Formal, legal documents such as a last will and testament, living will, revocable trust, healthcare power of attorney, and/or financial power of attorney.

-Important contacts list, including your attorney, financial advisor, accountant, doctor, banker, veterinarian, funeral director, religious clergy, close friends, etc.

-Letter of Intent to explain your estate plan in your own words (e.g., why property is left to one person and not another or why property will be transferred to a trust), and to outline your funeral or memorial preferences.

-Passwords or information about online accounts and digital assets. Common examples include passwords or instructions to access a computer and/or phone, online portals for utility payments, family photos, text messages, social media profiles, airline miles, online game points, computer software, client or patient records, and encrypted documents.

-A sentimental message or letter to loved ones, which may include hopes for family legacy or wishes regarding family values.

-Special keepsake items or family heirlooms you wish to pass on to heirs. This could be a valuable object or special family photos and letters.

Gathering this information and keeping it in a safe place can give your family the enormous gift of knowing how to proceed after you are gone, while bringing peace of mind to you right now.

Cumberland Trust has a dedicated trust and estate administration team to support our senior clients and their families. Our team members have the experience and compassion needed to provide extra assistance to those clients who may need it, and to support families through life's transitions. We collaborate with your accountant, estate planning attorney, and financial advisor to help guide the wealth transfer process, and to follow the plan you have put in place.

Call or email Jean Jackson for more information and/or to arrange an office visit at 423-664-9747 or jjackson@cumberlandtrust.com. Visit cumberlandtrust.com to learn more about Cumberland Trust's services, our teams, and general information about trust and estate administration.

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Jean Jackson

Noteworthy:

Gathering this information and keeping it in a safe place can give your family the enormous gift of knowing how to proceed after you are gone, while bringing peace of mind to you right now.

For more information:

Visit cumberlandtrust.com to learn more about Cumberland Trust's services, our teams, and general information about trust and estate administration.

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