If you were to die today, would your family have the information they need to get your affairs in order on your behalf? Taking a bit of time to create and fill out a ‘What My Family Needs to Know’ organizer is a gift and a blessing for your loved ones.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s a "What My Family Needs to Know" Organizer?
- Steps for Filling Out a Cake Profile
- What Should You Do After You Fill Out Your Cake Profile?
When you share this critical information, it makes things easier for your family when the time comes. Nobody can predict the future. We don’t know when our time on earth will come to an end or when we’ll be unable to make decisions for ourselves. All we can do is take the time to prepare today for uncertainty tomorrow.
Creating this type of organizer isn’t meant to be scary. It’s a proactive, approachable way to begin talking about end-of-life planning. Not only will it help you understand your own wishes, but it simplifies the process of typing up loose ends for loved ones. In this guide, we’ll share how to properly fill out a ‘What My Family Needs to Know’ organizer.
What’s a "What My Family Needs to Know" Organizer?
No matter how well you keep records of your life, memories, career, etc., you should still create a ‘What My Family Needs to Know’ organizer. This record can include the following:
- Bank account information
- Benefit information and beneficiaries
- Personal information
- Insurance records
- Digital accounts and passwords
- Final wishes
- Emergency contacts
- Last will and testament
- Living will or advance directive
In other words, it’s a way to share your financial, medical, and benefits information with your trusted loved ones. It’s also a way to share any thoughts and feelings about your final wishes, like whether you want to be buried or cremated.
If you don’t have a ‘What My Family Needs to Know’ organizer, your family could be left in the dark when your time comes. They might not know about certain accounts, benefits, beneficiaries, and what you want to happen to your body. They’ll be left to search for this information and make decisions on their own. That can be a heavy burden to carry.
You can create a physical organizer that’s secured in your home, but this might be difficult to hold onto, update, and share with loved ones. A modern alternative is to use Cake’s free ‘What My Family Needs to Know’ organizer tool to easily create, save, and share your important documents and wishes.
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Steps for Filling Out a Cake Profile
Creating a Cake profile to share your ‘What My Family Needs to Know’ organizer is simple. All you need is a few minutes to complete and share your profile safely and securely. Follow these steps below to get started for free.
The first step is to register your account. You can sign up with Google, Facebook, or your email address. Make sure to use a secure password. A password manager tool can help suggest a password that’s difficult to guess.
When you register, you’ll need to confirm your email to make sure your account is ready to go. Your Cake account is always free and totally secure.
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2. Answer the prompts
Once you’ve confirmed your account, you’ll be taken directly to the planning organizer. Several prompts will guide you through this process. Take some time to think about your personal wishes and what matters most to you.
If this is your first time thinking about end-of-life planning, you might have a few questions along the way. Cake will provide helpful examples to guide your planning. You can also leave specific notes or explanations if you feel the multiple-choice answers don’t suit your needs entirely.
You’ll be asked to answer questions about the following topics:
- Funeral: These are questions about what you want to happen to your body and how you want your funeral to be. There are also questions about any miscellaneous final wishes.
- Legacy: Everyone wants to be remembered. What does legacy mean to you? What messages would you like to leave for your loved ones?
- Health: It’s also important to think about what matters to you if you’re no longer able to make health decisions for yourself. What would you like to happen? Who do you trust to make decisions on your behalf?
- Digital: Your digital legacy is more important than ever. What do you want to happen to your digital files, emails, and social media pages?
- Legal/financial: Last but not least, what do your loved ones need to know about your legal and financial documents? Where can they find information about your assets, your dependents, and beneficiaries?
Feel free to answer the prompts all at once or just a few at a time. There are no rules. It’s just about going along at your own pace and thinking critically about what matters the most to you. Some questions won’t apply to you, and it’s okay to skip those.
3. Upload important documents
Once you’ve answered all the prompts that are relevant to you, it’s time to upload any necessary documents. Think of the documents that will be most important to your loved ones if you pass suddenly.
This might include legal documents such as your will or advance directive. It could also include account passwords, valuable photos, or special messages. Some ideas for things to upload include:
- Bank account information and login details
- Access to a password manager
- List of social media accounts and login details
- Family photos
- Scanned mementos
- Emergency contacts
- Insurance documents
- Legal will
- Advance directive
- Estate attorney contact information
Anything that someone might need in case of death or another emergency should be uploaded here. Everything uploaded to your cake ‘What My Family Needs to Know’ organizer is safe and secure.
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4. Share your profile
Your digital organizer is only valuable if your family actually knows about it. This is where many physical paper organizers fail since they’re hard to share with a large number of people.
Once you’ve completed your Cake profile, it’s easy and safe to share your details and documents with others. To do this, click “Share Profile” at the top of your Cake dashboard. This is where you can set your Key Contacts. These should be people who you trust to carry out your wishes. There is no limit to the number of people you can share your profile with.
To share your profile with someone new, click “Share with someone new.” You’ll then be asked to fill in their name and email address. You can assign them a specific role in your planning process, like an executor, guardian, emergency contact, or health care agent.
It’s also important to note that you can revoke access to your documents and details at any time from the Key People page. You can also see any profiles that have been shared with you. Once you send a share request to someone you trust, they’ll receive an email explaining that you’ve shared your profile with them securely.
What Should You Do After You Fill Out Your Cake Profile?
Filling out your Cake profile is just the first step. From there, you’ll want to let the people you’ve shared your profile with know that you’ve sent them your plans. If they receive the email with no context, they might be confused with what you’re sharing. This is an excellent opportunity to start a conversation about end-of-life planning and final wishes.
From there, encourage them to access your profile and review all of your choices. Not only will this mean they know what to expect when the time comes, but it might spark their own interest in completing their own plans. It also gives them an opportunity to share any questions or concerns they might have with you.
Last but not least, your ‘What My Family Needs to Know’ organizer is never a one-and-done project. This is something you’ll want to check in with regularly, at least once a year. Not only will your wishes change over time, but you might need to update documents, add on, and make changes.
Creating a Plan You Can Trust
No matter the stage you’re at in your end-of-life planning journey, it’s easy to get started and take a big step forward. Cake’s simple planning tool is always free, safe, and easy to use. Take a few moments to consider your final wishes and how you’ll share access to this important information. It goes a long way in easing the burden of tying up loose ends for your loved ones.
Nobody wants to think about what will happen after they're gone. However, avoiding thinking about it at all is a recipe for disaster. It can leave loved ones high and dry.
Think of this plan as a gift to those you love most. Knowing your wishes means they can find peace and secure your legacy. If you’re ready to give this important gift to your loved ones, create a Cake profile today.