Looking into the future, we all know we will lose our parents someday. After the shock and sadness, the memorial service, the visitors, etc., the family will initiate the execution of the estate documents. You may know some of Mom or Dad’s wishes, but very quickly you’ll need info from their insurance brokers, lawyer, doctors, and financial planners and will need access to documents. And you will need to provide information to them, as well.

Hopefully, you’ve been working with some of these professionals while mom or dad were aging or ill, and can get started, but what if you don’t know where to turn first? There are many books and professionals to refer to but let’s save you a lot of time and heartache by getting these questions addressed now! What do you have, not have, and what don’t know you will need?

Do you have access to all necessary assets, such as brokerage and bank account statements, legal documents, safe deposit boxes and property deeds? If not, who does? And is that person authorized to speak with you about your parents affairs? Get permission now. Ask each one what they will need from other professionals. Professional Daily Money Manager, Barb Lyon, recommends, “Devote a drawer in our office where all these important documents are kept. I call it a Legacy Drawer.”

Here are 12+ issues to discuss with your parents now. If they are short on documentation regarding their wishes, arrange a meeting with them to discuss it and bring sibling(s) with you and/or record the conversation.

  1. Do you have an up-to-date Living Trust or Will, a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) for financial purposes, an Advance Healthcare Directive (AHCD) for medical purposes? Who helped you write this and where is it located? When did you last update these documents? Every five years is recommended.
  2. When was the last time you reviewed the beneficiaries or vesting on your real estate, retirement assets, IRAs and insurance policies and do they match your Living Trust? Review those now; things change over time.
  3. Do you have a POLST signed by you and your doctor? Have you written out any of your end-of-life wishes?
  4. Do you have a mortgage of any kind on the house? Where is the paperwork and the latest bill?
  5. Do you have life insurance? Who is the agent?
  6. Do you have a long-term-care policy (LTC) and who is the agent that sold it to you? Who is notified if insurance payments are missed? Call that agent today and exchange contact info.
  7. Who are the other key advisors in your life? Doctors, lawyer, accountants, insurance brokers, Daily Money Manager, clergy person. Get their names and phone numbers.
  8. Banking: Do you use a Daily Money Manager? Name and phone number, please! Do you use online banking? Where do you keep bank and brokerage statements? Have you given an emergency contact to the bank, including a copy of the Power of Attorney? How would your POA access your account? What are your login credentials?
  9. Does your DPOA have a key to your safe deposit box (essential)? Does your POA have a key to your house and post office box?
  10. Where do you store all your passwords? Have you shared access with at least one person? Who and where?
  11. Do you have social media accounts that should be closed when you’re gone? Get login information!
  12. Other pieces of info you will need right away*:
  • PIN numbers for ATT/ Verizon / Comcast
  • Passwords to unlock phone and computer
  • Apple ID and iCloud ID and password
  • Fastrak account and PIN number
  • Storage Unit location, unit number and keys or codes
  • Father and Mother’s Places of Birth
  • Pink Slips for the cars
  • Safe Deposit box key
  • Post Office Box key

If there are many “no” answers from your loved ones, it’s time to get to work! And while you are at it, do you have all of these documents and issues solved for YOURSELF and communicated to your adult children?

I have wonderful professionals to refer to you for all of the professionals referred to above, if needed.

Thanks to Barb Lyon, Rely on B (https://www.relyonb.net), for this comprehensive list!

ALWAYS feel free to call Millie at 415-761-1550!