Often when you think of estate planning, you think of all the legal documents that you need to create. While those are of the utmost importance, you should also consider creating a master document for your survivors. This “master document” is essentially a cheat sheet that can help decrease the stress and complication that goes along with finances after you pass away. It details all your bills, accounts, debts, and especially the logins to those accounts if they are online. In this digital age, it is crucial to give your survivors all your pertinent information so they don’t need to stress out tracking them down.
A well-crafted master document cheat sheet for your children or other survivors should include:
- Utility information and logins so they can pay your bills and later cancel them
- All insurance information (life, homeowner’s, car, etc) so they either cancel it or receive the benefits
- Bank Information including credit cards outside of your main bank and any mortgage information
- Social media information and e-mail accounts
- Any reoccurring non-bill payments that will need to be canceled
While you can leave your login information for many of these accounts, it is important to remember that your survivors will need to present death certificates in order to close or transfer the accounts. This is mostly for insurance and banking information. So while they can login as you, they will need to go through the proper channel in order to sort it out.
Finally, it is important to remember that you should review and update the list each year so that you make sure that any changes in account numbers or login/passwords will be kept up to date in the event of your unexpected death.
Are you ready to start the estate planning process? While creating a master document for all your pertinent information is helpful, you should also remember to create the legally binding documents. Wills, trusts, and other planning is crucial to make your estate run smoothly for your already grieving survivors. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.