Checklist: Documents to Organize and Share

After a death, there are a lot of financial and administrative tasks for your family to take care of that can quickly become overwhelming. With some planning and organization you can relieve a big chunk of that burden by helping your family easily settle your estate, pay required taxes, and quickly receive any benefits they are entitled to.

Here are some of the essential documents, accounts, and types of information that you may want to organize to help your family settle your affairs when the time comes.

You can also get started securely storing and sharing your important information, documents, and account info with Personal.com.

Insurance policies

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

Bank accounts

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

Credit cards

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

Mortgages or loans

  • 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

Titles or deeds to any property

  • Real estate
  • Motor vehicles
  • Boats

Investment portfolios

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds

Will

  • Copy of the will
  • Copies of previous versions of the will
  • Name of attorney or law firm that helped create the will, if applicable

Trusts

  • Declarations of trust or trust agreements
  • Name of attorney or law firm that helped create the trust, if applicable
  • Bank accounts associated with the trust

Power of attorney

  • Name of the person appointed to power of attorney
  • Power of attorney documentation
  • Name of attorney or law firm that helped create the POA, if applicable

Safe deposit box

  • Location of safe deposit box
  • Safe deposit box keys or location of safe deposit box keys

Any professionals who have helped

  • Lawyer
  • Accountant
  • Insurance agent

Advance directive

  • Living will
  • Health care power of attorney
  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

Proof of identity and relationships

  • Social Security card
  • Armed Forces discharge papers
  • Birth certificate
  • Death certificate
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce certificates
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Divorce settlements

Household utilities

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Phone
  • Cable
  • Internet

Automatically renewing medications

  • Names of medications
  • Name of pharmacy where medications are renewed
  • Name of doctor who prescribed medication

Email

  • Gmail
  • Hotmail
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • AOL

Online businesses

  • Amazon
  • PayPal
  • Ebay

Social media

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn