We would like to share with you something that we share with our clients. It's really important, our clients like it, and we think that your family can benefit from it as well. You may have seen this before. We print it year after year. Consider it as a gentle reminder to get yourself organized. One of the most tedious tasks in administering a trust or an estate is finding the decedent's estate planning documents and asset information. Frequently, children or even spouses have no idea where their parents or spouse kept these important documents.
After you pass away, the last thing you should want is for your loved ones to have to search through your belongings in a morbid scavenger hunt to find your will, trust, stock certificates, or other important papers. They shouldn't have to lift up your mattress to look for your safe deposit box key or spend $150 at the bank drilling into your safe deposit box because they couldn't find it. They shouldn't have to waste a month waiting for new account statements to come in the mail so they can learn where you invested your savings.
To avoid these difficulties, you should organize your personal and financial data. This is where the list comes in. Collect the information described in this list and give a copy to your children or close relatives, or keep it somewhere safe and let your family know where to find it. In case something happens to you, the List of Eleven is one of the best ways to ensure that your relatives can find all your vital records.
The List of Eleven
1. The name of the bank where you have your safe deposit box, its number, and the location of your key.
2. The account numbers for all of your insurance policies, health, life, auto, home, burial, etc., and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your insurance agents..
3. A list of your stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and the name and address of your broker.
4. The names of the banks or savings and loans for each of your accounts, and the account numbers, or even copies of account statements.
5. The location of your cemetery plot or mausoleum niche.
6. The location of your will or trust and the name, address and phone number of your attorney.
7. Your credit card numbers.
8. Your Social Security Number.
9. The name and address of your mortgage holder, the account number, and the amount of the outstanding debt.
10. The name and address of your accountant, and where your past income tax returns are located.
11. The type of memorial or funeral service you want.
If you think this is too hard to do yourself, consider how hard it will be for your children to deal with after you pass away. Take a few minutes to get organized.
Len & Rosie