If you die or become incapacitated, it is helpful to have a master document that lists all the information your family or executor would need in order to access your accounts and important documents.
Where should the master document be kept?
Keep the document in a safe place, but not in a bank safe deposit box, as your family may not have immediate access to the box. Share the document, or its location, with family members, your power of attorney, and executor.
What should the master document include?
The list should be comprehensive and include all the information that your family or executor may need to manage or close out your estate. Where appropriate, you should include:
- Bank or company name
- Account numbers
- Contact information
- Username and password for online accounts
- Value of the account or policy, including the date of the valuation, and
- Location of paper or electronic documents and policies.
You may also want to consider including information about your social media accounts and how you would like your family to handle them. If you use an online service to store and manage your account usernames and passwords, be sure to include access information for that service as well.
Tips & Resources - Master Document
Making things easier for your family may be time-consuming. It's best to break the task into manageable sections and take it one step at a time.
Make it a habit to review and update the document list at least yearly. Make sure that your usernames, passwords, and list of accounts are current.
There are online “vaults” where you can upload and store this information and update it as needed. Be sure to check out the security and privacy of these companies before using them.