When you get older, getting your financial affairs in order through the estate planning process is not only a wise move, but a beneficial thing you can do for your family. As part of this process, you should collect all your important legal, financial, and personal information.
Here are a few areas to focus on when you start to put your financial affairs in order:
- Contacts–Compile a list that includes the names and phone numbers of doctors, lawyers, close friends, brokers, and insurance agents.
- Medical information—Create a list of all medications you take, along with any illnesses and allergies you have.
- Personal documents—These include things like your Social Security card, birth certificate, tax records, marriage license, etc.
- Digital assets—Make a list of all your digital assets, which should include things like passwords to your online banking and social media accounts.
- Pets—Give instructions for your pet’s care.
- End of life—Note your wishes for tissue and organ donation and put together your instructions for your funeral, including if you already have pre-made arrangements with a funeral home.
- Wills and trusts—Include copies of your will and other important estate planning documents.
- Financial accounts—Make a list of your brokerage, mutual fund, bank accounts, and other financial accounts.
- Debts and liabilities—State any leases, debts, or loans you have, including things like medical bills, credit card debt, student loans, and mortgages.
- Insurance—Compile a list of all the policies you own, such as long-term care, home, auto, life, and other policies.
Put together all this information and then store it in a safe, secure location, like a safe deposit box. Let someone you know and trust where this information is and how to access it.