Beyond the Will: Essential Information to Secure for Your Loved Ones
by Nathan Russell, Owner and Managing Attorney
Creating a will is a vital step in ensuring that your assets and wishes are distributed as you desire after your passing. However, there is more to consider than just the contents of your will. To truly prepare for the future, it’s essential to gather and organize additional important information that will ease the burden on your family members during a difficult time. This extra planning is a huge benefit to your loved ones after you pass away. Here are some key documents and information you should keep with your will:
- Financial Records: Gather records of your bank accounts, investments, insurance policies, and retirement accounts. Include contact information for financial advisors, account numbers, and login details for online accounts.
- Debts and Liabilities: List any outstanding debts, loans, or mortgages, along with account numbers and contact information for creditors. This will help your family understand and manage your financial obligations.
- Property and Real Estate Documents: Include deeds, property titles, and related documents for homes, land, and any other real estate you own. This will make it easier to transfer or sell these assets if needed.
- Healthcare Directives: In addition to your will, make sure you have an advance healthcare directive and a durable power of attorney for healthcare. These documents specify your medical wishes and designate someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so.
- Digital Assets: Provide a list of your digital assets, including social media accounts, email accounts, and any online subscriptions. Include instructions on how to access or manage these accounts.
- Passwords and Access Codes: Maintain a secure list of passwords and access codes for your devices, online accounts, and digital assets. Ensure that your family knows how to access this information safely.
- Contact Information: Compile a list of important contacts, such as lawyers, financial advisors, doctors, and close friends. This will help your family reach out to those who can provide assistance or guidance.
- Funeral and Burial Preferences: Detail your preferences for your funeral or memorial service, including any prepaid arrangements. This will relieve your family of the emotional burden of making these decisions during a challenging time.
- Safe Deposit Box Information: If you have a safe deposit box, provide details, including location, access information, and an inventory of its contents.
- Letter of Instructions: Consider writing a letter to your loved ones with personal messages, final wishes, and any other guidance you wish to leave. This can provide emotional support and closure to your family.
Remember to keep these documents and information updated regularly and inform your family members or trusted individuals about their location. Storing them in a secure place, such as a home safe or with your attorney, is advisable.
By gathering and organizing these additional details alongside your will, you’ll help ensure that your family members have the information they need to navigate your affairs and carry out your wishes with confidence and ease during a challenging time. Preparing for the future is an act of love that can provide comfort and peace of mind to your loved ones.
It is never too early or too late to create your estate plan. Contact the attorneys at Russell Law Offices, S.C. to schedule a consultation to review your current will or create one for the first time.