None of us like to think of the time when we might not be around, but it's important to have someone ready to handle the important things for you if something should happen to you. Even when someone lives a long life, they leave behind people and stuff and there needs to be a plan in place with someone that can be the guiding light when it does. Here are some of the things that your executor needs to know so they can handle whatever needs to be handled when the time comes:
Who to Call - Make a list of all the people your executor will need to contact along with all their contact information. Not just friends and family, but doctors, employer's HR chief and even clubs you belong to along with all your bill and bank information. Also make sure your Power of Attorney (if it's someone different than your executor) knows who will be handling everything in the end.
Where Things Are - Make sure you executor knows where all your accounts are kept, where the original will is (even if it is filed with a lawyer) if you have things in a safe deposit box or even online and be sure you have this list with contact information as well. Let them know where you keep important paperwork for items in your home as well (deeds, titles, social security cards and personal items that are hidden).
All the Secrets - Make sure your executor knows any things you have hidden away that you want removed as well as personal items that you don't want exposed. Make sure they also know where all your passwords are kept and what they are to.
Who Gets What - Besides all the big, financial things in the will, there may be some personal items you want to specifically go to someone. Make sure your executor knows about these items and include special stories you may want to be told that go along with that item. Recipes, photos and just special memories that you want to be sure are shared if you don't get the chance to give them the item or tell them the memory before you are gone.
It will be a hard time for those you love when it comes time for you to leave this earth. Do everything you can while you are alive and able bodied to make that transition as smooth and painless as possible. Take the time NOW to give special items while you are alive to those you love. Tell those special stories and find the executor that you can keep informing along the way as things change. Your family will be thankful you did all this ahead of time and it will help them when they are in a very difficult time down the road.