Many of us have Safe Deposit Boxes and hopefully, all of us have our Estate Planning documents in order. But where should you keep everything? What information will your Executor need?
The following “Letter to My Executor” will help you decide what is important and where it belongs. If you get organized now, updating it on an annual basis becomes a fairly routine task. The idea is to keep original documents in your Safe Deposit Box (SDB) to prevent them from being misplaced or damaged. Before you put documents in the box, make copies and place them in a folder addressed to your Executor. Click here to read the sample “Letter to My Executor” that may help you stay organized.
If you update the documentation in your Safe Deposit Box when the annual SDB rent is due, it will make the update easier to remember. Whomever you trust to have keys to your Safe Deposit Box should be listed on the access card for the SDB. Since you can no longer send in the documentation to allow access to your SDB, those people will need to go to the bank to sign the documentation. Timing this visit with your visit to add documents to your SDB will streamline this process. Make sure to include fresh financial statements and keep the original of your Last Will and Testament in your Safe Deposit Box.
Make sure your Executor knows where to find this file of important information and don’t forget to update it annually with new copies of statements, insurance policies, and other documents. Your SDB may be sealed upon your death so it’s important for your Executor to at least have copies of these documents in the meantime.
One last thought on “final wishes”.
If you have thought ahead and purchased a pre-paid plan and/or have a plot, put the documentation in the file for your Executor. Funeral expenses can be very high. Even if you don’t wish to be buried, there are still costs and plans associated with the final disposition of your body. More importantly, discuss with your family and your Executor what you want to happen when you pass. Whether or not you have a pre-paid funeral plan, you might want to set up a bank account that will give your Executor or a close family member access to some funds to handle your estate expenses until the estate can be dispersed. Please check with your Estate Attorney on the best way to handle this.