It’s an unfortunate fact that once you pass away, it will be someone else’s responsibility to wrap up your affairs. This can be a daunting and arduous task for your executor if he or she does not know where your important documents are kept, what types of financial accounts you have, or how to access everyday things like your internet passwords or home security PIN number. Providing directions to your executor in the event of your death can make a very difficult time a bit easier, and will go a long way to helping your estate close in an orderly, efficient fashion.
A list with all of your information is the best way to give your executor what he or she needs to take care of your estate. This list should include locations, combinations, or anything else related to:
- Home security systems
- PO boxes
- Home safes
The list should also include information about safe deposit boxes, including the bank where it’s held, the box number, what’s in the box, and the location of the box keys. You should also ensure that your executor is authorized to access the box.
Consider making a list of all of your financial accounts and policies, as well as information about their ownership status (solely- or jointly-owned) and beneficiary designations. In addition, you can provide passwords to your online financial accounts, as well as any email accounts or social media accounts. Keep in mind that as your passwords change and accounts are opened or closed, you will need to update your list. It’s a good idea to review your list anywhere from quarterly to yearly, depending on how many changes you’ve made.
Now, it’s important to note that you do not have to hand this information over to your executor before you pass away, especially if you have any privacy concerns. The information can be given to your estate planning attorney to be kept safe with your other estate planning documents. You can then tell your executor to contact the attorney in the event of your death to retrieve the information and begin settling your estate.
If you’d like more information about advance planning to help your executor, or if you’d like to have your existing estate plan reviewed by an experienced Ohio estate and elder law attorney to ensure your affairs are in order, please contact our Ohio elder law office at 877-653-3450 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.