Being Prepared: Information Your Loved Ones Need to Know

By Erica J. Yount, CFA, CFP®

Wealth Manager, Principal

January 28, 2022

It’s hard to find the right time to discuss information your loved ones will need once you are gone. Initiating that discussion well ahead of time is a gift. Does your spouse know how to access all the bank and investment accounts? Do your children know how you would like to be remembered? Are the people you love in possession of what they need to take care of your final affairs?

We recommend compiling a list of all your accounts and trusted advisers’ contact information and keeping it in a secure place where your loved ones can find it in case you suddenly pass away or become incapacitated. Especially with the proliferation of technology, it’s important to make sure your loved ones can access everything from your banking accounts to your social media accounts, should that prove necessary.

Here are some examples of pertinent information you may want to start compiling:

Important contacts (e.g., financial advisor, estate attorney, accountant)

Location of your safety deposit boxes and keys. Make sure a loved one has access privileges.

Computer and social media passwords

Location of your important documents (e.g., will/trust, passport, Social Security card, house deed, vehicle titles)

List of all bank and investment accounts

List of all credit cards and outstanding debt

List of all outstanding bills you pay on a regular basis

Insurance policy information

Employer contact information (e.g., regarding employee benefits)

To help you organize information for your loved ones, we’ve created a Personal Information Checklist. In addition, here are a few other end-of-life planning resources that can help you and your family prepare:

Apple Legacy Feature: Did you know Apple now has a Legacy feature on iOS 15.2? This allows Apple users to designate certain contacts to preserve their digital legacy. With so much vital personal information stored on iCloud, you are now able to purposely pass on your pictures, passwords, and files.

Role of Executors

In addition to your loved ones, it’s important for your executor to have some of this information ahead of time as well. It may feel awkward, but planning now can save them stress during a time when the focus should be on grieving, honoring, and celebrating life. Here’s a final resource specifically for the executor of your estate that can help them be more prepared.

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