Sometimes we have prior warning that it is our “time to go.” Sometimes there is no warning at all. I keep reminding people that we never know when we will turn up our toes on 285 or some other unexpected catastrophe. So, we should always be in a state of readiness.
I think we all know about the importance of the will, the power of attorney, and the living trust, but what about some of the other paper work? I have heard of estates being held up for over a year because a car title couldn’t be found, or a husband who couldn’t get into his deceased wife’s accounts because he did not have the password.
Does your executor know where your important papers are located? Some examples might be account statements, insurance policies, beneficiary designations, deeds, car and boat titles, stock and bond certificates, business paperwork, and tax returns.
But let’s go beyond that. I was blessed in the fact that the death of my mother and my husband were expected. We had a chance to discuss burial plans, what circumstances were to be considered if we had to make a decision to “pull the plug”, where important papers were located, what items were to go to special people. While neither of my family were high tech, it is still important to know such things as the IPhone lock code, passwords, account numbers, etc.
The greatest gift you can give your family is to set up files with all the vital information in one place and to have “the talk” with family on what your final wishes are on your funeral, your possessions, and anything else you can think of. The planning in advance will never be regretted and it will free up your loved ones to focus on their emotional needs and your specialness in their lives.
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer