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Do I really need an ICE binder?
Whether you’re married or single, a parent or not, have a big nest egg or a mountain of debt, blah blah blah, you need an in case of
I wrote last week about all the reasons you need some form of legacy or in case of emergency binder. You can read my post dedicated to that very topic here.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ve come across a lovely tool to make building said binder MUCH less daunting. I knew we needed one.
I was putting it off because the thought of sitting down and creating it from scratch sounded, well, terrible.
Not exactly how I wanted to spend several of those fleeting, precious quiet hours while Little Lyon Cub was napping.
Before I mustered up the courage and patience to actually sit down and create an ICE document, I very conveniently discovered that Chelsea at Smart Money Mamas had already done the work for me.
Insert the happiest and most celebratory emojis here.
Not only did she create the very tool I was actively avoiding creating myself, but she also did it better than I probably would have.
She included way more things, a few of which I hadn’t even thought of, and then made it super affordable.
The icing on the cake: the fillable PDF is clean, easy to use, and looks nice to boot. Winner winner chicken dinner.
The In Case of Emergency Binder
In the ICE Binder you’ll find 14 different sections including the following obvious ones:
- Household Information
- Key Personal Documents
- Insurance Details
- Financial Information (accounts, debts, recurring payments, etc.)
- Investment Information
As well as some less obvious things like:
- Info for non-parent caregivers (your child’s favorite meal, extracurricular activities info, special routines…things that might bring a bit of comfort in an otherwise really rough time.)
- Letters to loved ones
- Military information
- Burial preferences
There are extra fillable pages for each section, blank notes pages titled for each section, and blank generic notes pages.
You have plenty of room to completely customize this binder to your specific needs and have all pertinent information in one place.
Chelsea has included suggestions and tips about how to go about filling out sections, things to consider when writing to loved ones, and so much more. Her suggestions have come in handy already while I’ve been working on creating our own masterpiece.
Things you may not have considered and ways to make climbing the mountain more manageable.
The document is easily editable, making it simple to complete and print or save electronically in a secure location.
How do I make this happen?
The whole document is well over 100 pages, but don’t let that scare you. Not every page or section will apply to you.
The pet section doesn’t currently apply to us, much to our daughter’s dismay. The military section may not apply to you.
As I mentioned, there are plenty of extra pages; if you need them, you’ll be thankful they’re there, but if you don’t, then you can skip them. A section or notes page you don’t need now may come in handy down the road.
Once you’ve got it all filled for the first time, you’ll never have to sit down and start from the beginning again. Exhale.
After the heavy lifting is complete, going over your binder and making any changes or updates is all that’s necessary going forward.
I recommend an annual review if there aren’t any major changes, and revisiting when you have a big life event like having a baby or moving.
This sounds like a lot
I’ve been slowly but surely working on filling it all in. I’ve got it open on my computer and do a little bit each day, so I don’t go crazy in the process. Plus, I can’t spend all my time on it right now, I need to keep writing
There are many sections I can complete off the top of my head, and I was able to knock them out quickly. Those also made me feel good about myself and the whole project.
There are several others that require me to dig up the information from different places on my computer or around our house.
It has taken me plenty of time to get it all together; imagine if someone else had to do it, not being inside my brain?!
As I’m filling it in, I realize this will be a great resource for me going forward as well. Now everything is in one place. I can find information much quicker when I need it, too.
Like I talked about here, I’m our family’s Chief Home Officer. I take care of most of the day-to-day nitty-gritty household adulting BS. I’m talking about the really important things that I love to do…
Christopher obviously lives here too, and he knows where to look for any physical documents. He knows my (our) whole life is on my laptop. He’d have a decent starting point.
It would still probably take him way longer to find account info he may not know, and who the heck our property managers are than me.
Not to mention, he’s going to be very busy mourning the loss of the love of his life, should something happen to me.
I say that kind of as a joke, but honestly, think about it.
If he was gone tomorrow, I’d be a freaking trainwreck for a very long time. I did choose to spend forever with him for a reason after all.
I’d like to think he’d be sad if I was gone too.
I digress a bit. My point is, it’s taken me plenty of time to look things up to get this binder filled in to the point of usefulness. If someone else suddenly had to aggregate this information without being in my brain, they are going to have a much steeper mountain to climb.
On that note- I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but I haven’t been able to come up with a scenario where someone might not need something like this.
If you are a human and have a pulse, you need an In Case Of Emergency Binder. If you’re a dog reading this, well then I’d like to meet you.
You don’t have to buy this PDF in order to have an effective legacy binder. You can certainly create one yourself.
I was going to do that, but it sounded awful so I jumped on this when I found it.
If creating your own version of a legacy binder isn’t something that makes you want to scrub the toilets just so you have an excuse not to start on it, I salute you. You’re a better adult than I.
If you do think scrubbing the toilets sounds more enjoyable then creating a legacy/in case of emergency binder from scratch, then I highly recommend you check out Smart Money Mamas’ ICE Binder.
Personally, the $29 was well worth the amount of time and headache it saved me.
It would have taken me who knows how many hours to get to the starting point of this done-for-you ICE Binder.
My hourly rate and the price of my sanity is much higher than whatever it would have worked out to be when you divide $29 by the time it would have taken me to create something even close to this binder.
I consider this money extremely well spent.
Of course, this is purely a personal decision for you to make. And luckily, we’re not talking about an insane investment here.
Do you have an in case of emergency or legacy binder? Do you think I’m dead wrong and you’re the unicorn who doesn’t need one? Have you been putting off making this very thing for the same reasons I was? Has this ever crossed your mind?