What if you died (or got deathly ill) tomorrow? Would your loved ones know where to find important documents? Do they know how to pay the electric bill to keep the lights on? Would they be able to find the life insurance policy? Does anyone know the password to get into your computer?
Here are the top 10 most important documents to have organized so you and others can find them when you most need them. Download this free checklist. Print it and use it as a guide as you complete this project.
Creating a binder or file of the most important documents is just one of the things we accomplish in my empty nester coaching package. Schedule a mini session here with me to see if this program is a right fit for you.
Top 10 most important papers
I suggest having a binder or file plus a digital file with all of this information in one place. Share this with your loved ones so they know where they can find the important papers.
If you are opposed to having them all in one place, create a master list that contains the information for each one.
A Last Will and Testament dictates the way your assets will be distributed and utilized following your death.
An inexpensive option is to purchase a will from US Legal Forms. Fill it out, have someone look over it and get it notarized. For more peace of mind, pay an attorney and be certain that everything is set.
Give a digital copy and/or a paper copy to those in your will.
2. LIVING WILL
A living will states your wishes regarding life support in the event that you are in a persistent vegetative state or irreversible coma and cannot communicate your wishes.
This includes your birth certificate, marriage license, divorce papers, passport, and Social Security Card.
Make copies of each of these and keep in your file.
4. LIFE INSURANCE POLICY
In your binder, include the phone number to call, the policy number, the amount, and the date issued.
Your retirement plan includes all of your investments, your pension plan, retirement funds, and your financial advisor’s contact information.
Also in this category, include your banking information. How to access your bank accounts and pay the bills if needed.
6. HOUSE INFORMATION
The house deed, mortgage, bill of sale, home association and the utilities you pay monthly are in this category. How are they paid? Automatically? Out of what account? What are the passwords, account numbers, etc.
Include a copy of all titles for cars, trucks, boats, loans and other assets.
8. FUNERAL PLANS AND BURIAL INFORMATION
Wouldn’t it be awful for you to die and your loved ones have no idea where to bury you? Especially if you already owned a burial plot somewhere.
9. MEDICAL INFORMATION + LIST OF CURRENT MEDICATIONS
You should have an updated copy of medications at all times, especially if you are taking several medications. Keep a list of current medications in your possession, especially when traveling.
At home, tape the list inside a cabinet door by your medications.
Pick a day of the month. Every month, on that day, look over your list and update it. It will become a habit but until then set a reminder on your phone.
10. INSTRUCTIONS UPON DEATH
When you die, what should someone do? Make a list.
This post is a great resource and has a checklist for what to do when someone dies. Print it out and put it in your binder or file.
Who is the designated person to do each task?
What phone numbers, house code, and passwords would they need to do these tasks?
Now, don’t go getting all overwhelmed!
Use my free printable to help you remain calm and get things done.
First, go through each item and ask yourself, “What tasks need to be done for each item?”
Write the tasks under each item. Does a lawyer need to be called, forms printed, copies made, research done, etc?
Second, set a deadline to complete each task.
Decide a date you will have each task completed and write the date next to each task.
Third, put each task on your calendar.
Schedule an appointment with yourself to get each thing done and then keep every appointment.
Fourth, tell your people.
When you have it finished, even as you work on it, tell your loved ones what you are doing and where everything is! They need to know.
Finally, pat yourself on the back and begin planning how you will live until then! 🙂
PRINT this free checklist to use through the process.