Spend the energy, effort, and time now to consider your wishes, collect information and, most importantly, get everything down on paper, says In Maricopa’s recent article entitled “Make an end-of-life checklist.”
The article says that a list of all your assets and critical personal information is a guarantee that nothing is forgotten, missed, or lost. Estate planning attorneys can assist you and guide you through the process.
Admittedly, it’s an unpleasant subject and a topic that you don’t want to discuss, however it can be a final gift to your family and loved ones.
When you work with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can add any specific instructions you want to make that are not already a part of your will or other estate planning documentation. Make certain that you appoint an executor, one you trust, who will carry out your wishes.
Have ready for your attorney all of your vital, personal information. This should include your:
- Social Security number
- The location of key documents
- Birth certificate
- Marriage license
- Military discharge paperwork (if applicable)
- Powers of attorney
- Medical directives
- ID cards
- Medical insurance cards
- House and car keys
- Details about your burial plot.
In addition, you need to let your family know about the sources of your income. This type of information should include specifics about pensions, retirement accounts, 401(k), or your 403(b) plan.
Be sure to include company and contact, as well as the account number, date of payment, document location, and when/how received.
You also need to include all medicine and medical equipment used and the location of these items.
And then double check the locations of the following items:
- Bank documents
- Titles and deeds
- Credit cards
- Tax returns
- Trust and power of attorney
- Mortgage and loan
- Personal documents
- Types of insurance – life, health, auto, home, etc.
It’s wise to add account numbers and contact information.
Another area you may want to consider is creating a list for is online passwords, in printed form, in a secure place for your family or loved ones to use to access and monitor accounts. You can also use a service like LastPass to store all your passwords in one place. Then you can give your executor access to all your passwords by including your login information in your checklist.
Be sure to keep your End-of-Life Checklist in a secure place, such as a safe or safety deposit box because it has sensitive and private information. As part of our planning process at Huizenga Law, we give you a binder that is a great tool for keeping everything organized. Whether you use our binder or make something up yourself, make sure you tell your executor where it is located.
Reference: In Maricopa (Feb. 14, 2020) “Make an end-of-life checklist”