The Legacy Giving Committee of the Southminster Foundation has stressed the need for everybody to have a will. Hopefully, you have already taken action but there is something that you may not have considered: a roadmap. You’ll make your executor’s job easier by preparing a roadmap listing where certain things are and whom to contact. Once you have created this roadmap, keep it current. Your executor, who is oftentimes one of your children, will love you even more for lightening their burden at a time that will already be difficult enough.

Creating a Roadmap

  • Where is the will? Possibly in the safety deposit box but which bank and where is the key?
  • Who is the lawyer that prepared the will?
  • Do you have life insurance and, if so, where are the policies?
  • Where do you keep copies of your old tax returns? Did you use a CPA to prepare them? 
  • Is there a balance sheet of your financial assets, such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts, IRA’s, etc., so that nothing is missed?
  • Are you carrying any debt, maybe on the last car you bought and where is the car title?
  • Have you made any final arrangements?
  • Where do keep your passwords to computers, credit cards, and so many other things in life these days?
  • Who is supposed to get what in terms of jewelry, furniture, china, crystal, and so on? 
  • Do you have valuable art hanging on the walls that might be otherwise be destined for Goodwill?
  • What about family heirlooms of sentimental value?
  • Have you labeled family pictures of historical importance from back in the day when photos weren’t just on your phone?
  • Are there friends and family far away who need to be contacted?
  • Have you written a personal message to your immediate family?