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An Easy Checklist to Getting A Loved One’s (or your) Affairs in Order Before Passing

October 18, 2017 by Greg Port, J.D., M.B.A.


Stream in a farm field in rural York County, Pennsylvania..jpeg

Death is a reality for us all, and although we hate to think about it, it is necessary to provide for our loved one’s futures. If you should pass unexpectedly, you don’t want to leave your loved ones with a financial burden while they are grieving.

Below is a checklist of what you need to do to make sure your affairs are in order.

#1. Complete Your Estate Plan

Whether you have a large estate or feel your assets are small enough to be managed by your loved ones, an estate plan is vital to getting your affairs in order before passing.

A properly drafted estate plan, whether you opt for a will or a living trust, includes provisions of how and to whom you want your assets distributed. A smart estate plan can also cover: guardianship of children or pets, mental incompetence and your wishes on funeral arrangements, burial or cremation, etc.

These are difficult subjects that we often avoid discussing, but an estate plan is important so your wishes are respected and the burden made easier for your friends and family.

Would you like help understanding what your estate plan needs? Contact us for a free consultation or use our online app to determine which elements your estate plan needs.

Free Online Estate Planning App

#2. Get Life Insurance

Life insurance makes certain that your spouse or children are not left in dire financial straits should you pass. Not sure how much life insurance you need?

Try for at least ten times your annual income if possible. If life insurance is out of reach for whatever reason, be sure to set aside savings for your loved ones.

Whether it is for your spouse or children, any money you save is money that can help them pay for bills, a home, college, weddings, and so much more on the event of your passing.

#3. Put All Important Documents in One Location

Your important documents, also known as your Estate Information packet, need to be in a safe location that won’t be easily stolen or damaged by fire or water. Make sure someone close to you, like a spouse or child, that you trust knows where this information is located.

Here is the kind of information you’ll need to include:

  • Your full legal name
  • Date of birth and location
  • Your address and any phone numbers
  • Email addresses and passwords to any important online information, especially credit cards, banks, loans, etc. This includes security questions that you had to set up for each account
  • Social security number
  • Your parent’s names, especially your mother’s maiden name
  • Spouse and children’s names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, social security numbers, etc.

You will also want to include the following documents (if they apply to you), but make sure you list all important names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, who have the original documents and the copies, what the last signed date was on these documents, who prepared the documents, and any other necessary information you can provide.

In the case of objects or assets owned, make sure you specify where you want each item to go upon your death. Your lawyer can help you through all of this information, so you know what you need to include.

  • Accountants
  • Attorneys
  • Your last will and testament
  • Your living will
  • Your Power of Attorney
  • Term life, annuity, and disability insurance policies
  • Long-term care, medical, supplemental medical, homeowners, car, umbrella, and business insurance
  • All checking, savings, and investment accounts
  • All credit cards
  • Home mortgage
  • Current homeownership information
  • Loans
  • Credit lines
  • Businesses owned
  • Real estate owned
  • Cars owned
  • Computers owned
  • Tax returns
  • Safe deposit box(es)
  • Safe location and contents
  • Doctors
  • Creditors
  • Liabilities
  • Marriage(s) and divorce(s)
  • Citizenship(s)
  • Adoption(s)
  • Military Service
  • Veteran’s Benefits
  • Social security
  • Medicare
  • Pension plan
  • Birth certificate
  • List of all your names (past or present) and dates changed
  • Voters registration
  • Passport
  • Memberships (any clubs, unions, organizations, etc.)
  • Store membership or rewards numbers
  • Tax ID numbers
  • AARP or AAA numbers
  • Frequent flyer account numbers
  • List of any family heirlooms
  • People who should be notified of your death
  • Any religious contacts (pastor, priest, etc.)
  • Care of pets (who you want them to go to)
  • Guardianship of children (if they aren’t adults)
  • Funeral and Burial or Cremation desires
  • Obituary desires

Getting affairs in order can be overwhelming, but we are here to help. If you are ready to get your affairs in order, please contact us today for a free consultation.

Our consultations are completely free of charge and intended to equip you to make the best decision.

 


Topics: Estate Planning

Greg Port, J.D., M.B.A.

Written by Greg Port, J.D., M.B.A.

Port Legal founding attorney, Gregory Port has over 30 years experience. He has provided strategic corporate law representation in Central Ohio to clients since 1990. Gregory Port is a lawyer actively practicing in the areas of probate, estate planning, and real estate. His experience and core values are the cornerstones of Port Legal as a specialized advocate for your interests.