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It seems every year we get to assist someone who lost a loved one unexpectedly and there is one statement we hear over and over…..”I wish I had known that before he or she died”.  To help those who want to organize their financial affairs we put together a list of 30 documents you need before you die.

After death, it is too late to ask questions of where items are kept, too late to change how items are titled, etc.   Please spend a little time organizing your personal information so that it will be easier for your loved ones to pick up the pieces and carry out your wishes.

Avoid frustration for your heirs. Without your help, some of your hard-earned assets and life insurance may go unclaimed.


Marriage & Divorce

1. Marriage license
2. Divorce papers


Health & Healthcare – ICE (In Case of Emergency)

3. Medical history, medications, emergency contacts, and
4. Durable health care power of attorney (when preparing forms for kids over age 18
make sure to use the form approved for the state where they attend college)
5. Authorization to release health care information
6. Living will
7. Do-not-resuscitate order
Proof of Ownership – Deeds, titles, tax returns, etc
8. Deeds – land, house, cemetery
9. Mortgage & escrow
10. Proof of loans made and debts owed
11. Vehicle titles
12. Stock certificates, savings bonds, and brokerage accounts
13. Partnership and corporate operating agreements
14. Income Tax returns


Insurance, Retirement, & Investments

15. Insurance policies – life, funeral, other
16. Investments other than retirement accounts
17. IRA, 401(k), 403(b), 457, and other retirement accounts
18. Pension documents
19. Annuity contracts
Banking & Credit Cards
20. List of bank accounts
21. List of safe deposit boxes
22. List of credit cards


Essential Estate Documents

23. Will
24. Letter of instruction (Durable power of attorney, funeral arrangements, and contact
info for accountant, attorney, financial advisors, etc)
25. Trust documents
Personal Items
26. Online Accounts and passwords
27. Identification – birth cert, driver’s license, passport, SS card, military ID, etc
28. Memberships and subscriptions
29. Items that auto draft from your bank
30. Property maintenance contacts


Relax……. Let us help you organize and complete the information needed.