Imagine everything from where records and bills are kept, key health information and documents, safe deposit key and location, all passwords, plus appraisals and details of final wishes, along with a host of other critical items that are beautifully bound in their own custom leather binder.
Mesa resident Sandy Cowen created My Life in Order (MLIO), a very personal company to meet the needs of people who are realistic enough to recognize that none of us live forever, who want their children to gain the maximum value from their estate and who would like their family history to live on past them.
“This started as a gift to my son and ended up being a gift to anyone who sees the value in organization, sharing important information and treasuring family memories and history,” Cowen said. “My Life In Order is a lasting gift of love you can give to your family.”
MLIO expands on services provided by estate attorneys or fiduciaries. This process empowers an individual to leave information and instructions for their family in their own voice – not legalese or complex instructions. MLIO serves as a personal assistant to capture information with deep relevance for the distribution of assets, preserving family memories, memorializing final wishes and sharing other information an individual might want family to have – all in one, convenient place.
A sample of over 15 services available by MLIO are:
- Room-by-room inventory of personal possessions that have significant financial or sentimental value, so kids know what something important may be before they dispose of it.
- Piece-by-piece inventory of jewelry for the same reason. For example, founder, Cowen shares her granddaughter might want to know about the bracelet that once belonged to her great grandmother (paternal) which was originally a necklace before she had it cut in two – one for her and one for me and made into matching bracelets.
- Family memory sheets – sometimes only a single sheet of paper with anecdotes about a loved one that keep their memories alive for future generations. When I pass, for example, my paternal family dies with me since I am the last living person. So, I did a sheet about my father, uncle, two aunts and others who were fun, exciting and sometimes eccentric. Definitely worth remembering!
- Funeral details like whom to contact when someone passes. Since only 27 percent of people get the newspaper, a traditional obituary listing in print would miss most everybody. Facebook details, contacts of various organizations to which a person belongs, contacts at a church or place or worship, and others out of state or friends and family who might contact others can be listed – with phone and email details provided.
- Family tree information – noting the names of key relatives one remembers. How many times has someone said, “Oh, I wish I had asked grandma what her parents’ names were.”
- Locations of important documents.
- Files for monthly bills, mailbox key and passwords to everything that needs accessing – including the burglar alarm code.
- Videos capturing key moments in a person’s life.
As the owner of an advertising agency and public relations firm for more than 30 years, Cowen is no stranger to writing, deadlines and organizing complex projects. For another 10 years, she consulted nationally and internationally to position companies for success in the marketplace, so she understands the importance of effective communications.
Additionally, Cowen is an author and speaker and has been a community leader in the Valley for decades. She is currently a member of the International Women’s Forum and Charter 100, both by-invitation organizations for women of achievement, and is a member of MENSA.
For more information, call 602-618-6125 or visit www.mylifeinorder.me.