I'm not getting any younger and wanted to make my passing as easy as I could paperwork wise. I have gathered and organized everything I could into a special colored folder and my daughter has a copy of it all, and she and my husband know the color of the folder in my desk, as I do not keep it out in the open.
internet passwords to important sites
a list of programs
our living wills
All of these so she can notify/cancel. She is also on our bank accounts, and has the logins so she can transfer any money if something happens as she lives in another state. I tried to think of everything I could so I would not leave anything to chance. I wanted my daughter and/or my husband to be able to immediately take over things without any difficulty. I go through it every so often and make sure it is all up to date. It does offer peace of mind knoing that when my time comes, all is ready to be taken over.
Working in a law firm for many years in the estate planning and probate departments, I found that few people actually plan very little, if at all, for the future when it comes to their death. Having your estate planning in place is very important and you should choose an attorney that specializes in that field. Making things easier for your family and especially for making sure that your wishes are honored does need to be memorialized legally. Also, think about the little things and make a list. This list isn't a part of your estate planning documents, but you could keep them together for simplicity down the line.
My children are grown and I am remarried. I have given direction to a couple of them, those I think are best suited to do these things, so that if something should happen to both me and my hubby at the same time, or he is unable to deal with things at the time, they can do so. They know my final wishes for my cremation and ashes, where to access personal info, we've discussed what they would like to have of a personal nature that I own (and my hubby knows those things, too), etc. It's comforting to know that although in the end, people will do whatever they do, I have still given them some direction if they need it.
Write down on paper all the information needed if you pass away unexpectedly or expectedly, and leave with a very reliable person(s). I have one copy with my file in my attorney's office for quick retrieval. I have included all policies of any kind, listing their account or policy numbers, to whom they are to benefit, and exactly what the benefits will be, the company to contact (the phone number to call and where to find the policies etc. (at my home or bank safety box). I list all bank accounts. List EVERYTHING. And change or add to it when necessary. Do not leave anything to chance. Your loved ones will really appreciate your organization efforts in their time of grief. Remember, policies will not be collected unless requested.
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