These mandatory state and federal filings are a buried treasure of information hiding in plain sight.
Think about all the information on a tax return and how it can point your family in the right direction if they needed a clearer picture of your finances. Here’s a list of vital details on those drab government forms we’re forced to file each year (which has changed from April to mid-July due to COVID-19):
- Social Security Number
- Income from jobs
- Investment income
- Business income
- Deductions and Credits
- Accounts (or at least the ones that accrue interest)
- Property Taxes
- Interest and Dividends
- Prior Tax Payments
- Taxable Alimony
- IRA/Pension details
- Rental property income/expense; P/L statement
- Social Security benefits
- Misc. income like gambling winnings, scholarships, and medical savings accounts
You might not want to share your forms right now (we know sharing tax returns can be a touchy subject), but you want them to be easy to find for whoever will one day need to unravel your estate. If your taxes are prepared by a financial advisor or accountant, their info should be front and center in your contacts. If you use a program like TurboTax, you can share the login details with your passwords.
Write down how you get your taxes done and where you keep your past returns. If something happens to you, these are an ideal financial blueprint to help your family (or Executor) piece your finances together. You can also securely share digital copies of your returns in the Financial section of an Everplan (and if you want to keep them a secret, you can set it to only share after you’re gone).