Important Insurance and Financial Documents You Need To Organize and Share

By organizing your financial and legal documents before you die, you can help your family more easily:

  • Apply for and claim benefits
  • Get through the probate process
  • Close bank accounts
  • Pay any final estate or income taxes

For different financial accounts and holdings and for different legal arrangements you will need to gather different types of information. Below are typical legal and financial accounts, and the types of documentation you should get together to be best organized.

For a printable checklist of all the documents you might need to collect, use our resource Checklist: Documents to Organize and Share.

Insurance policies

  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Car insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Other insurance policies (theft, fire, earthquake, etc.)

To gather for each policy:

  • Company through which the policy was purchased
  • A copy of the policy
  • Name of policyholder
  • Name of insured
  • Name of primary beneficiary
  • Name of contingent beneficiary
  • Login and password information for online account management

Bank accounts

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Debit cards

To gather for each account:

  • Name of bank
  • Account number
  • PIN number
  • Login and password information for online account management

Credit cards

To gather for each credit card:

  • Card number
  • Expiration date
  • Recent account statements
  • Login and password information for online account management

Mortgages or loans

  • To gather for each mortgage or loan:
  • Company through which mortgage or loan was given
  • A copy of the mortgage or loan agreement

Tax returns

  • Most recent W-2 forms or federal self-employment tax return
  • Income tax returns for the current and previous year, including 1040 variations and 1099s, if applicable
  • Gift tax returns

Pension plans and retirement benefit information

  • 401(k) or 403(b) plans 
  • IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan
  • Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension (SARSEP) plan

To gather for each plan:

  • Name of organization through which the plan was established
  • Name of beneficiary
  • Login and password information for online account management

Titles or deeds to any property

  • Real estate
  • Motor vehicles
  • Boats

Investment portfolios

  • Stocks 
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds

To gather for each investment:

  • Recent statements
  • Name of contact person at financial institution, if applicable

For a printable checklist of all the documents you might need to collect, use our resource Checklist: Documents to Organize and Share.

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