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"Ultimate Checklist: Organizing Your Affairs for Peace of Mind"

Updated: Apr 4

How ready would you be if you transitioned tomorrow? Do you have all your affairs in order? Have you collected all your vital documents? Do your loved ones know where to find these documents if you're no longer around? Ease the burden on your family by adhering to the straightforward checklist provided below.

  1. A Living Will A Living Will allows individuals to specify their preferences for healthcare and other end-of-life decisions in the event they are unable to communicate their wishes.

  2. Power of Attorney A Durable Power of Attorney enables individuals to appoint someone to make legal decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated.

  3. Power of Attorney for Healthcare Similarly, a Power of Attorney for Healthcare permits individuals to designate a representative to make healthcare decisions on their behalf.

  4. Last Will and Testament This document specifies the recipients of personal belongings and designates an Administrator. However, if beneficiaries are designated on financial accounts, they supersede the instructions in the will. For example, if personal possessions are left to Susie in the will, but a friend is listed as the beneficiary on a savings account, the funds will go to the friend.

  5. Bank Accounts Ensure that all bank accounts have designated beneficiaries. The beneficiary will only need to present your death certificate and their own valid identification to the bank for access.

  6. Transfer on Death (TOD) Consider executing a Transfer On Death (TOD) deed if you own a home. By completing and filing this document with your county, you can potentially save your heirs significant costs. The TOD deed facilitates the transfer of home ownership to your chosen recipient upon your passing. Your designee simply needs to provide their ID and your death certificate to the county building to complete the transfer, thereby bypassing probate proceedings.

  7. Funeral Planning Declaration This allows individuals to outline their preferences for body disposition and funeral services.

  8. Financials It is advisable to compile a list of all financial institutions, investment accounts, credit cards, utility accounts, etc., along with clear instructions on how and when they are to be managed.

  9. Life Insurance Ensure that life insurance policies are easily accessible to heirs.

  10. Account logins and passwords Maintain records of important account logins and passwords, such as Apple ID and bank accounts.

  11. Titles Ensure that titles for vehicles, campers, etc., are readily available.

  12. A Trust Consider establishing a trust for intended beneficiaries, particularly minors, and appointing a trustee.

Having these documents in place can help avoid probate. Without them, an estate account must be opened at the bank to hold funds without direct beneficiaries. This process requires legal assistance and public notification of the passing, leading to potential complications.

Make sure to designate a beneficiary for all of your financial accounts, including checking, savings, CDs, life insurance, and investments. You don't necessarily need a will for them to access your funds; a death certificate is usually sufficient. It's also a good idea to create a handwritten list of your accounts and assets and give it to a trusted person or store it in a secure location such as a safety deposit box at the bank.

Without this information, your loved ones may not know about all of your assets and could miss out on accessing them. Additionally, ensure that you have a trusted individual who is authorized to access your safety deposit box at the bank.

Most importantly, communicate your wishes with those closest to you, including designated individuals and others who may be affected. This fosters understanding and helps prevent confusion or conflict after your passing.


This information serves as a reminder for loved ones to address these important matters, making the transition easier for those left behind.

If this post was helpful to you, please share it with family and friends.

Life Beyond Bookstore carries two downloadable planners designed to make it easy on your loved ones when you transition. For more info click the products below.

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