Welcome to House of Light, a blog produced and managed by the staff of Casa de la Luz Hospice. Casa de la Luz ("house of light" in Spanish) is a locally owned and operated hospice, serving the city and surrounding communities of Tucson, Arizona. Through this blog, we hope to offer education, information, and support about caregiving and hospice care to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. For more information, visit the contact us page.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Organizing Your Personal Affairs, Just in Case

Maybe you're a little less organized than you should be. Or maybe you are organized, but it's a system that works for you and that you've memorized. What if something happened to you, and your parent/spouse/child/sibling had to go through your paperwork, pay bills for you, talk to your bank? Would they be able to? If the answer is no, or not sure, use this helpful checklist to guide you in organizing your important information and putting your affairs in order.

Place these important documents in labeled folders in safe place, but still easily accessible to your loved ones. Make sure you tell him/her where these documents are kept. You may choose to also provide copies of some of this information to your loved one, such as a spouse or child. If there's a lot of information, including some that may require explanation, consider scheduling an annual meeting with the person you've designated to manage your assets. Take the meeting time to review information, such as ownership of property, list of assets, debt and loan statuses, etc.
  1. Last will and testament, and contact number for your attorney and executor
  2. Safety deposit box information, including contents, bank name and address, and a list of individuals allowed access
  3. Instructions for your loved ones, including contact information for any advisers and relatives, friends and other loved ones
  4. Funeral or memorial service information and instructions, including pre-payment information, name and location of selected mortuary/funeral home
  5. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decree, and/or separation agreement
  6. Social Security card or number
  7. Military discharge papers
  8. Federal and state income tax returns for the last several years
  9. Insurance policies, including company name, policy number, and beneficiaries
  10. Titles, deeds, and leases to all property
  11. List of assets and locations
  12. List of debts, including outstanding loans, amount owed, etc.
  13. Securities and investments, including records of trusts, stocks, bonds with broker names/numbers
  14. Credit card account numbers, cards, and statements
  15. Loans payable and receivable, and any other contracts and agreements to which you are a party, including names, addresses, and conditions of these
  16. Other business records
  17. Appraisals, receipts, or estimates of valuables
  18. Usernames and passwords of online accounts, including online banking, e-mails, social networking sites, etc.

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