Information You Need to Plan Your Estate
In planning your estate, it's helpful to have as much of the following information on hand as possible.
- The names, addresses, and birth dates of all people, whether or not related to you, that you expect to name in your will
- The name, address, and telephone number of the person (or people) you expect to name as the executor of your will
- If you have minor children, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of possible guardians
- The amount and source of your principal income and other income, such as interest and dividends
- The amount, source, and beneficiaries, if any, of your retirement benefits, including IRAs, pensions, Keogh accounts, government benefits, and profit-sharing plans
- The amount, source, and beneficiaries, if any, of other financial assets such as bank accounts, annuities, and loans due you
- The amount of your debts, including mortgages, installment loans, and business debts, if any
- A list (with approximate values) of valuable property you own, including real estate, jewelry, furniture, collections, heirlooms, and other assets
- A list and description of jointly owned property and the names of co-owners
- Any documents that might affect your estate plan, including prenuptial agreements, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, recent tax returns, existing wills and trust documents, property deeds, and so on
- The location of any safe-deposit boxes and an inventory of the contents of each.