Advertisement
savings

Key Financial Documents to Share With Your Heirs

Gather information that loved ones will need to be able to access your financial life after you're gone.

To ensure that your heirs have easy access to your financial life, leave them a road map. These documents can be stored online (Amy Goyer, a home-and-family expert at AARP, recommends AboutOne.com or Dropbox.com), as long as you share your log-in and password with your kids, but keep a paper copy in a safe place in your house. Worried about burglars or prying eyes at a cocktail party? Stash all the paperwork in a plain binder and tell your heirs where to find it.

Financial accounts. With online banking and bill payments, it's easier than ever to move money around but harder for your heirs to find out what's where. Prepare a list of all your accounts (bank, credit card, investment and retirement), as well as household bills and insurance (health, home and auto), and update it once a year. The list should include account numbers as well as log-ins and passwords.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Legal documents. Give a copy of your wills, trusts and powers of attorney (financial and health care) to anyone named or authorized to act on your behalf, and store the originals at home; otherwise, your children could have trouble getting them at the critical time. Use any major life change as an opportunity to review these documents and update them, if necessary.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Your team. From your tax guy to your financial planner and attorney, these folks know what's going on with your money and your estate plan and can help heirs later on. List names, contact info and what they do for you. Even better: Introduce your kids to them. "If you're going to build this beautiful plan with your advisers, your kids should meet with them," says Doug Orton, a vice-president with money-management firm MFS. After you're gone, your children will be more comfortable working with a team they know.

Advertisement

Most Popular

2020 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays
Markets

2020 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays

Is the market open today? Take a look at which holidays the stock markets and bond markets take off in 2020.
July 1, 2020
What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020
Searching for the Perfect Place to Retire
Empty Nesters

Searching for the Perfect Place to Retire

We home in on two places with less traffic and lower costs. 
July 2, 2020

Recommended

Exit Strategies for Charitable Remainder Trusts
estate planning

Exit Strategies for Charitable Remainder Trusts

CRTs offer tax and income-planning flexibility as life changes over the years.
July 1, 2020
For Financially Responsible Kids, Do NOT Do These 3 Things
family savings

For Financially Responsible Kids, Do NOT Do These 3 Things

The key to putting your kids on the right financial path can be boiled down into one sentence.
July 1, 2020
10 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class
tax deductions

10 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class

Tax breaks aren't just for the rich. There are plenty of them that are only available to middle- and low-income Americans.
June 30, 2020
Find the Best Money Market for You
money market accounts

Find the Best Money Market for You

Whether you choose a money market fund or account largely depends on the money's purpose.
June 24, 2020