No one likes to think about dying — but planning ahead is a much better option than leaving your most important decisions to bereaved loved ones. Do your family a favor and give them a little peace of mind — by getting your affairs in order while you’re still able to make your own decisions.
lawyer and executor of your will
accountant, CPA, and bookkeeper
insurance agents — life, home, auto, etc.
business associates and partners
family, friends, and colleagues
stock broker, investment counselor, and financial adviser
legal — wills, powers of attorney, trust documents, safe deposit box
family — birth, adoption, guardianship, citizenship, marriage, divorce
investments — CD, securities, stocks, bonds, retirement, annuities
business — incorporation papers, contracts, agreements, computer back-up
deeds and titles — title insurance, property, home inventory, vehicles
insurance — life, death benefits, property, health, homeowners, auto
military — service records, discharge, pension
ID — passport, driver’s license, social security card
income tax records
banking — loans, list of accounts, statements, canceled checks, passbooks
have you outlined your funeral arrangements and burial plans?
have you purchased a cemetery plot?
have you purchased a pre-paid funeral or cremation plan?
have you selected the music, prayers, and readings for your service?
have you made it known what you don’t want at your service? religious prayers, open casket, etc?
have you set up guardianship papers for your children?
do you know how much money your family needs to replace your income?
do you have adequate current life insurance to cover your family’s needs?
do you have enough money specifically set aside to pay the cost of dying?
including inheritance taxes, executor, and probate fees
do you have money set aside or long-term care insurance for long-term medical costs?
do you have beneficiaries for your accounts, investments, and insurance?
have you set up a trust to protect your assets from undue taxation?
do you know how much inheritance tax will be due on your assets?
do you know how much it will cost to have your will probated?
have you left assets to your spouse which can be received tax-free?
have you begun gifting tax-free money to your children prior to your death?
are you planning to make a charitable gift as part of your estate plan?
do you have a current, up-to-date, signed will?
do you have a financial power of attorney set up?
do you have a living will and medical power of attorney?
do you have a current signed organ donor card?
have you given copies of these documents to your executor and attorney?
have you clearly outlined how you want your possessions distributed?
have you labeled any items you want to go to specific people?Click here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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