Things to ask yourself, or an estate attorney, or yourself while in the presence of an estate attorney.

In light of conversations with friends around things to ask closing in on the end of life, as well as a particular conversation with a client, may I present to you a list that is pretty much a brain dump, but is a good starting place when you don’t know where to start with setting up your affairs.

Do you have an advance directive? (sometimes called Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will)

Is it in writing?

Does it include Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) document?

Do you want your advance directive to include all options for end of life decision making?

Do you have a will?

Is it in writing?

Where is all of your money? (accounts, insurance, life insurance, stocks, bonds, anything else floating out there)

Do  you have arrangements so your executor can have access to your accounts  upon death? (Payable On Death/Transfer On Death…so they can settle  debts)

If you have insurance policies and/or retirement accounts, are your beneficiaries up to date?

Do you have the policy numbers?

Are there outstanding debts? (student loans, personal debts, credit cards)

Do you have deeds for all property?

Combinations for locks, pin numbers, alarm codes, hiding places, does someone trustworthy know what/where these are?

Do  you have a list of all online accounts, and does someone trustworthy  have the passwords and usernames? (amazon, PayPal, Ebay, Venmo, online  banking…the list goes on)

Do you have service subscriptions? What are they?

Same goes for email addresses. How many do you have, and does someone have the login info for them all?

{A password manager may be helpful, but it’s a personal decision to use one}

Does someone trustworthy have access info for your computer and phone? Any other electronic devices? (kindle/tablet?)

Do said devices have sensitive information on them?

Having someone to “delete the search history” is real. You got someone? Do they know? Do they know how to do it?

What are your sentimental tangible objects? Is there lore or info that goes with them? (is it in writing?)

Who gets them? (is it in writing?)

Do you have an inventory of the items in your household?

Is it in writing?

What do you want to have happen to those items?

Is it in writing?

If you’d like to dig into this project a bit more, may I suggest a visit to Death Project Manager? This isn’t an ad for them, this is me giving a straight up personal testimonial. They’re good people, I have their workbook, and it is good. If you don’t know where to start, if these questions have you feeling jittery because there’s more to figure out, then go. Look at what they have to offer.