A few years ago, my father gave me a gift that continues to keep giving. It is a one page document containing information I would need to know to settle his and my mother’s affairs should something happen to them. Information so important that we keep this document in our safety deposit box. Since that time I have created a similar document for my family. Is this document all inclusive? No. Have my father and I thought of everything that should be included in it? Probably not. Does it provide us with more guidance than we had previously? Definitely, and as a result I think we all rest a little easier knowing that whoever is settling our affairs will at least have some basic guidance.
This document captures the following types of information:
- Insurance information
- Location of wills, trusts, powers of attorney and related documents
- Safety Deposit Box information
- Bank Account and Investment Account information
- Listing of Current Debts
- Computer Passwords
- Locations of other valuable assets
- Documents summarizing health information for each family member (see related post on Health Summaries)
Knowing these documents exist helps me sleep easier at night. If you’d like a blank copy of “What You Need to Know” for your own purposes, I’d be happy to email one to you, just click on the Contact S.O.S. button in the header and specify in your message that you’d like me to send you a copy of “What You Need to Know.” If upon reviewing it you come up with suggestions for other topics it should address, just let me know via email.