Organizing Your Financial Information

It’s one of those situations no one expects and few plan for. Yet it happens to families every day—a loved one dies suddenly or becomes mentally incapacitated from an injury or disease. If that happened to you, could your family, financial advisor or other designated representative access the documents and information needed to make decisions or take actions on your behalf?

A professional financial advisor can help you integrate all of the components of your financial planning to help eliminate gaps and avoid overlaps.

Here is a checklist of the information and documents they will need. Taking time to assemble a binder or set of clearly marked file folders could help ensure that your financial affairs remain in order and your end-of-life wishes are known and followed. (Note: Storing these items in a safe deposit box could pose difficulties for your family members, executor or designated representative unless they have access to the box.)

As you review this checklist, think of your spouse and others in your family who might benefit from similar organization of their financial information. This could be an excellent time to have a conversation with your parents to be sure their financial information is organized and easily accessible. Let them know you are organizing your own information and will be glad to help them do the same.

Estate Planning Documents

  • Durable power of attorney
  • Last will and testament
  • Living trust

Healthcare Directives

  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Living will
  • HIPAA release to authorized persons

Financial Documents

  • Checking and savings account statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Mortgage/auto loan/other loan documents
  • Online bill payment
  • Investment accounts/list of stocks

Insurance Documents

  • List of policies with contact information/actual policies
  • Life insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Homeowners, auto and liability insurance
  • Medicare and any supplemental Medicare coverage
  • Annuities

Retirement Planning Documents

  • Pension and profit-sharing statements
  • IRA, 401(k) and similar statements
  • Employer-provided benefits information
  • Deferred compensation/stock option agreements

Education Planning Documents

  • 529 plan statements
  • Coverdell savings account statement
  • Student loans

Tax Planning Documents

  • Latest tax returns
  • Estimated taxes
  • W-2
  • Recent pay statement

Titles/Deeds of Trust

  • Home
  • Automobiles
  • Other real estate/major assets

Passwords and PINs

  • Online bill payments
  • Other online accounts
  • ATM/debit cards

Additionally, you may want to organize any contracts and agreements and account for utilities such as gas, electricity and water.

Ready to Take Action?
Having a professional financial advisor who can help you integrate all of the components of your financial planning is one of the most important steps you can take to eliminate gaps and avoid overlaps.

Email an advisor or call us at 800-228-9798.

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