In order to make things as easy as possible for your survivors, be sure to organize important documents prior to your passing. And whatever you do, communicate to a loved one the location of this information. Here are some important questions to consider when organizing important documents:
- Is your will, healthcare directive, life insurance policy safely stored in a home safe or safety deposit box?
- Have you provided the safe combination or extra set of keys to a safety deposit box to a family member? Do they know the location of your safe or safety deposit box?
- Have you provided copies of your will to the Executor of your estate as well as the Legal Guardians of your children?
- If you own a life insurance policy, be sure to notify the beneficiaries that the policy exists. They should know where your policy is stored and who the life insurance company is. Here’s why: According to a new Consumer Reports investigation at least $1 billion in benefits aren’t being paid out each year because individuals were either never told they were listed as beneficiaries or they can’t locate the actual policy.
- If you have young children, consider choosing back-up legal guardians in case your first choice of guardians isn’t able to fulfill the responsibilities at the time of your passing. Your attorney will want to list both guardians in your will.
- Record and safely store a list of all bank accounts, investment accounts, property deeds, legal documents and passwords. Don’t forget to make note of your Social Security number as well.
- Record the names and contact information of those whom your Executor will need to contact such as your accountant, attorney, and investment advisor.