Others should add to this list...
Here's a synopsis of a letter of instruction we prepared for our kids. We update it annually:
LETTER OF INSTRUCTION IN THE EVENT OF OUR DEATHS OR INCAPACITATION - UPDATED JANUARY 2004
-- Make sure that the medical insurance premium is paid. Currently we have the premium withdrawn automatically from our checking account. Here is all the info you'll need to locate this checking account: _____ . It is crucial that you either make new arrangements, or make sure there is enough in the account. The withdrawal occurs on the first day of each month in the amount of $ _____ . This is our health insurance and contact information: _____ . The benefits booklet is located here: ______ .
-- Our wills are located here : ____ .
-- Life insurance for both of us is in place in the amount of $ _____ each. The policy is located here: _____ .
-- Pension information, name, address, phone, and details
-- We have assets in various taxable & retirement accounts and investments. All of our assets are detailed in Quicken which is on the computer next to the bed and is updated monthly. Check this to get a complete list of our assets as well as names and addresses, etc. Someone who understands Quicken and computers should check this. Backups are located here: ______ . As of 12/31/03 our assets totaled about $ _____ . Paper statements are located here: ______ .
-- We have nursing home insurance. We paid a one time payment for nursing home coverage for both of us. The benefits include ____ . The policy is located ____ . All contact information is included with the policy.
-- We own the house free and clear. The Abstract and deed are located here ____ . You will need to pay the property taxes and house insurance. Insurance is with _____ . The policy is located here: ______ . Here is all contact information: _______. The premium is due each July 10 and must be paid. Property taxes are due before 10/1 and 4/1.
-- We have no other debts whatsoever other than just regular monthly bills and possibly a few medical bills that we are waiting to hear from on the insurance. Our regular monthly bills include: ______ .
-- ____ is in college and we have agreed to pay $ ______ . Take that from our assets and apply it to her college bills. Divide the rest according to the will.
-- All of our social security cards and numbers are in a manila envelope entitled "Social Security Cards" in the fire-proof box located here ____ .
-- We do NOT have a safe deposit box. Everything you need is in the house.
-- All of our mail is delivered to our home. There is no post office box.
-- All of our birth and baptismal certificates are in the fire-proof file box located here: _____ .
-- We have the following credit and debit cards: _____ . All credit cards are in my billfold or Mom's billfold in her purse. We have NO credit card annual fees. We do NOT carry a balance. We pay off each month. The credit card bill is located here: _____ . (include pay-off instructions).
-- No one owes any debts to us except medical insurance may owe us some medical things. We keep a log of anything they owe to us and it is kept here: ______.
-- We have two cars, a 1994 ______ and a 2000 ______. Legal papers (titles, etc.) in regard to those cars are in the firebox located here: ______ . Registrations are in the glove compartments of each car. No money is owed on either car.
-- Our income tax returns from all past years are located here: ______ .
-- All personal property that we own is either in the house or garage or on our property. There are negatives of some of the ancestors' photographs located here: _______ . We will want those to be passed down from generation to generation, so we'd appreciate it if you'd give them to whichever of our kids is most likely to take an interest in that.
-- We have no cemetery plots or funeral arrangements, so I guess you will need to take care of that. Keep it very, very simple and cheap. You can get cheap caskets at the monastery located here: _______ . We'd prefer you not spend much on a funeral. We'd rather you use the money to make your lives easier.
-- We have car and house insurance with _______ . All documents are located here: _____ . Here is contact information: ____ The premiums are due in August 25 each year.
-- Receipts, manuals and warranties for all the stuff we own (computers, appliances, etc.) are located here: ____ (for what its worth).
-- We do not have private disability insurance.
-- Car maintenance records & car owners manuals are located here: _____________ .
-- All of the keys that we use are either on my key chain or on Mom's key chain in her purse. My key chain is either with me or here: _______ . On my key chain is a key to (car1), a key to (car2), one key for the back door of the house, and a key to the garage. Mom has the same keys on her key chain that I have.
-- Apply for a one-time Social Security death benefit (this is a few hundred dollars). You can make arrangements for it through the funeral director and have it applied directly to his bill.
-- Mom's sister, ____ would be the first to contact in her family. She will contact others. Her contact information: _____
-- My parents will contact others on my side, and will come and help you with whatever you need.