Tips for Estate Planning

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.


I included:

  • internet passwords to important sites
  • a list of programs
  • our living wills
  • our wills
  • medical info
  • insurance policies
  • vehicle titles
  • subscriptions
  • social security
  • medicare

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.

By Marti S.

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March 26, 20120 found this helpful

My dad did this and it made everything so much easier, especially in those first difficult months after he passed. I was 29 when he died, and I've never forgot what a loving thing it was for him to have done.


I've done the same thing for my survivors, and I hope when my time comes that having done so makes things a little easier for them to bear.

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March 26, 20120 found this helpful

I have one more thing to add to this list.

I have three siblings. My father passed away when we were younger. When my mother was getting older, she and one of my brothers walked through the house and made a list of everything of value, plus anything of sentimental value.

She decided which offspring got which item and put our names beside each item on the list. Then she went through the list with all of us so we knew how it worked and we all agreed to her choices. It eliminated any and all arguments with who got what after she passed away.

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March 26, 20120 found this helpful

Suggestion: place a sticker on the back of items with the intended recipient's name. Makes it easier if the list is lost.

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January 18, 20160 found this helpful

My mother had everything we needed when she passed, which made it so much easier. Another thing to add to the list if there is a house involved and especially if it is out of your area or state, it is very helpful to have a list of the different repair/maintenance people used. This was especially helpful for the a/c, plumbing, electrical and exterior house maintenance, painter, etc.


Before we sold the house, several things needed to be done and these people were most helpful. We gave the list to the buyers and they were so grateful since they were new to the area. I have my list in an envelope on the side of my refrigerator for my son in case both of us go at the same time. Keeping it updated is important and I'm quite lax about that.

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