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- organize your papers in one central folder or binder that is clearly marked Estate Planning Documents;
- inform your personal representative / executor / trustee about the location of said binder;
- include copies of all beneficiary forms for your life insurance, retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, and other financial service instruments;
- provide contact information for those you would like notified of your passing. I for example include an up-to-date holiday card address list so people could receive a letter or copy of an obituary;
- list on-line assets, such auto debit for your mortgage;
- include names and contact information for your tax accountant and the location of your latest tax return; and
- list phone numbers for guardians of children, pets, or trustees of testamentary trusts.
Having a will in place is a great step towards easing the pain of your passing, but adding a few little items like this can make a huge difference in the time and effort put forth by the person you leave in charge.
Thanks for reading, and remember that a blog is not an attorney. Please consult a lawyer in your state for advice specific to your situation.