For a number of years I have been meaning to get our all our paperwork in order. Never before has it been more essential for us to have our passports, our birth certificates, banking details and so much more, sorted into one organised place. When we were first married we were really organised, everything was where it should be, wills were in order, all papers in order and then we entered into the chaos of parenthood and all things that were not directly related to feeding, clothing and educating kids, were somewhat put on the side.
I did ask my parents from time to time if their legal documents were in order… it always generated some firm “nobody wants to talk about this” – type of conversations… followed very quickly by forgetting about it for months on end. I have to say that by asking my parents how their paperwork was going, I was safely deflecting from our own chaos and how piles of papers were being put into boxes and boxes moved into closets whenever visitors came round, and safely forgotten there.
For the last few years I have had “Sort The Papers” on my list of ten things to do for the year… and at the end of each year I simply move that item onto my new list for the year. In fact, I had this idea that if I had a week at home, with no interruptions, I could get absolutely everything sorted. Turns out, after a year and a half at home, with very few interruptions it is not time that keeps me from getting this task done. I have to be honest, the idea overwhelmed me and I with no idea where to start… this project just got pushed to the side over and over again.
What I needed was a folder containing all your important documents, organised and stored in an accessible manner. In other words, drag all those boxes out of the closets, toss most of the paper work out and keep just those essentials. I thought this project would take years…
Introducing the Life.file
What I needed was a plan, a list of things that I needed to gather together and I needed to know what papers we no longer needed that I could actually throw out. My fear of not being able to find essential documents meant we were keeping everything and it was stifling. Not to mention what about all the legalise… surely this would require someone bigger than me to put everything together, and that sounds expensive. My biggest tip for starting any project that feels overwhelming is to just start, but I needed a place to start.
Life.file is a Web Based App that helps you to get your act together, quite literally. I discovered them recently on instagram, and couldn’t wait for their product to launch. They have a very detailed list of all the papers that your family might need, should something happen to you. More than that they enable you to store your paperwork online. This means that should something happen to you then your next of kin can contact them and they can release your Life.file to them.
Until now I have kept all our important paperwork in an accordion folder, something I could grab and run with should we ever have to evacuate again. But, the next step if you choose to use the Life.file app is to scan your papers. Their idea is that you gather your papers together and scan them, then you store them digitally on their site. Your information is encrypted and stored securely and when they need to release the information to a family member, they need to be given the specific code. You can read about their security protocols over here and I did get my IT guru of a husband to go through their protocols to see if they were legit. They were!!!
Quotable Quotes from the Very Approachable Team
A Tour of the Life.file
Let’s begin with a little peek at their website… they have a freebie waiting for you: it is a Starter Guide and everything you need to do to get your show on the road. There are lists, and I am not a natural list maker, so this is perfect for me… and so practical, they have thought of everything, including the pets’ details. We have only recently become a pet family in the last year or two and I can tell you that their paper work was the last thing I was thinking of.
Once you have worked your way through the list, you will start to think about things like… is my will up to date, and I know ours isn’t. The will we have was created when we had several small children under the age of ten… I blinked and four of our children are over the age of eighteen and legally adults. That changes things somewhat, simplifying and complicating things, all at the same time. They even have on their website a quick survey that will be turned your answers into all the legal wordage that you would need for a will. And from what I have heard a really simple and straightforward will is a much better option than no will at all.
To be honest, I didn’t just idly work my way through their list… I literally pressed every single button on their list of lists and for the least tech-orientated mom on earth I found it really easy to navigate. Not to mention it is beautiful, it didn’t feel like I was filling in realms of bank forms, or worse forms from Home Affairs, where the forms are out to get you. With the app, the instructions are clear and straight forward, this is a website that is designed with regular folk in mind.
The Nitty Gritty – What Does it Cost?
You can start working on your Life.file immediately…
In My Opinion…
Once I got started I couldn’t stop myself… boxes of papers have flown out of the door, the tossing of random papers has been somewhat liberating. Most of our legal papers have been gathered together. A project that I thought was insurmountable has become really achievable. This is definitely one project that will not need to go onto my list of projects for next year. Not to mention it frees me up from stressing about it, and moving on to much more enjoyable things in life.
Honestly, I think is an amazing gift that I could give to my family. Should something happen to me, I am at the helm of things so to speak, and they would be left floundering as it is. Add grief to that mix and I know the last thing they would want to have to think about would be legal paperwork. Just the idea that I can have a folder with everything they could possibly need sparks a little peace of mind for me.
This is not a sponsored post, I was not paid to write it, but was given free access to their site to try it out before it launched. Opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.