Maintaining current and organized financial records can spare you a lot of worries when you need information in a pinch.
Tim Tivis, Life Steps Inc. CEO, had a personal experience that drove him to develop a software to help families stay updated.
"Why do I have insurance if I never use it? However, when the house is burning you're so happy that you have it. There will come a time when you're
going to need information quickly. Instead of having chaos, pain and struggle, you can just go somewhere and get it. I don't think you can put a price on that," Tivis said.
Tivis knows first hand how valuable it is to keep personal information fresh and accessible.
"In 1993 my father-in-law was killed tragically in a car accident. About three days after the funeral my mother-in-law goes into the closet.
She pulls out this family safe and in there she finds a three-ring-binder. Inside it was color-coded with civil service records, retirement plan, your insurance policies, your legal documents,
everything about my father-in-law was right there," Tivis said.
For Tivis and his family, that binder provided at least some peace of mind.
"That was the only time in that traumatic situation that I saw my mother-in-law and the family just go 'ah.' It was the only time we had a sigh of relief," Tivis said.
That situation inspired Tivis to create computer software.
"Instead of fumbling through hall closets, desk drawers or trying to find information at a really chaotic time, just go to one place, one easy place to get it. Thus, the creation of the Living Family Journal.," Tivis said.
The program helps families organize, update and record important information on a personal computer.
"Inside the software it's based on several specific categories that include family information, like emergency contacts, passwords and codes," Tivis said.
"It also provides financial information like your bank account, account numbers, who to contact and your insurance policies."
Tivis said the Living Family Journal is password protected and encrypted in case of theft.
Staying organized with a program like this can prevent costly duplicates of records and creates productive space for financial tasks.