The 25 Estate Documents You Need

The 25 Estate Documents You Need

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Do you find organizing your affairs daunting? Here's a little help to get you started—a list of the documents you can begin gathering. Some of these documents you may want to keep in a safety–deposit box, some at home in a safe or in files. Just be sure to keep handy a listing of where you're keeping the different originals, so that you and family members can find needed papers easily.

(Please note that safety–deposit boxes may be sealed upon the owner's death, so you may want to keep papers that may be needed immediately elsewhere.)

The Essentials

  • Will
  • Letter of Instruction
  • Trust Documents

Marriage and Divorce

  • Marriage License
  • Divorce Papers

Health-Care Confidential

  • Personals and Family Medical History
  • Durable Health-Care Power of Attorney
  • Authorization to Release Health-Care Information
  • Living Will
  • Do-Not-Resuscitate Order

Proof of Ownership

  • Housing, Land and Cemetery Deeds
  • Escrow Mortgage Accounts
  • Proof of Loans Made and Debts Owed
  • Vehicle Titles
  • Stock Certificates, Savings Bonds and Brokerage Accounts
  • Partnership and Corporate Operating Agreements
  • Tax Returns

Life Insurance and Retirement

  • Life-Insurance Policies
  • Individual Retirement Accounts
  • 401(k) Accounts
  • Pension Documents
  • Annuity Contracts

Bank Accounts

  • List of Bank Accounts
  • List of all User Names and Passwords
  • List of Safe-Deposit Boxes

The material presented on this Planned Giving website is not offered as legal or tax advice.
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