It’s not a pleasant subject, which partly explains why so many people put off creating an estate plan. On top of that, estate planning requires the skill of advanced planning, something many of my clients aren’t particularly good at (at least not until after they work with me!). If you don’t already have a will and other relevant documents that will be helpful if you’re incapacitated, or after your eventual death, I strongly encourage you to get those things taken care of. You’ll make things a lot easier for your loved ones and you’ll make sure you assets are distributed as you’d like.
Besides creating an estate plan, you can make it easy for the people you leave in charge to find the documents they’ll need if you become seriously ill or injured, or pass away. Consider giving them the actual information noted below (copies or originals depending on what’s appropriate), or an index telling them where to find this information. Completing this list may seem overwhelming, so just do a little bit at a time. Planning for the worst will help assure the best outcome in a bad situation.
Medical Information The name and phone numbers of all of your doctors; the prescriptions, medications and supplements you’re taking; history of surgeries; allergies; medical history, etc. This information can be lifesaving if you’re having a medical emergency.
Financial Information Contact information of your financial planner, accountant and other financial advisors; bank account information – contact information for each bank, account numbers, etc.; investment information – names and contact information for each investment, account numbers, etc.; mortgage information; information about other loans; credit card information; pension and other retirement account information; tax records; bill payment information (especially which bills are paid via automatic withdrawal from your bank account); etc.
Property Information Deeds, titles etc. for home(s), boat, car, camper, cemetery plot, etc.; location of any property or valuables you own.
Here’s a link to my newsletter where you’ll find additional ideas to help you spring clean your way to organization.
Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom,