One of our seniors was inspired to come up with this Estate Data Organizer after a very stressful experience, many years ago, trying to settle the estate of his parents-in-law who passed away within a week of each other. They had left no information on their limited assets, health and other insurances, location of important documents, bills to be paid etc.
This Estate Data Organizer covers most personal assets and documents (but not any businesses owned or operated) based on many sources and discussions with legal and financial professionals. It may not fit each person’s situation exactly but is easily adaptable and can be customized. It is intended to be comprehensive but for most people it could be quite simple. If a couple have all their assets, possessions, and Estate Plan in common, only one Organizer may be needed. However, if the individuals have separate assets, possessions and Este Plans, separate Organizers may be necessary.
The Organizer consists of a Quick Reference Data Binder, your Safety Deposit Box, and several document folders, as listed below, depending upon your assets.
• Quick Reference Binder
• Safety Deposit Box
• Estate Plans (Trust, Will etc.) Folder
• Personal Documents Folder
• Legal Documents Folder
• Insurance Policies Folder
• Cash and Investments Folder
• Real Estates Folder
• Vehicles Folder
• Tax Returns Folder
The suggested contents of the different items can be seen by clicking on the item.
The QRB is the key document for your personal representative or surviving family. It is a ready reference to all the data needed to execute necessary actions quickly while you are incapacitated, or at imminent or after death.
If you think it is too much trouble for you (the sole person who knows all about your assets and dealings) to do this organization, consider how much more difficult it will be for your survivors when they are upset and rushed!
Organizing the data may seem overwhelming. But, it can be done fairly easily by performing the following steps in sequence leisurely:
Set up a Safety Deposit Box at your bank, if you do not have one already
Set up the above folders in a File Cabinet
Populate each folder with the suggested contents, modified to your liking, one or two folders at a time
Finally, build the QRB as suggested there.