Last Instructions

If something were to happen to you right this very moment, how easy or difficult would it be for your loved ones to step in and take care of your affairs – whether you were temporarily unable to handle your affairs or if you passed suddenly? 

  • Would they be able to find information as to your wishes – medical or funeral?  Keep you alive or let nature take its course?  Cremation or burial? 
  • Who should be notified of your situation?  Where is this information?
  • Where are your documents – power of attorney, health care directive, will – located? 
  • Where are your records with regard to your assets?  Do you have a safe deposit box?
  • If you keep your information electronically, do loved ones know where to find access to these electronic records? 
  • Do you receive benefits from retirement type accounts?
  • If you are working, who should be contacted regarding employee benefits?
  • Where do you keep copies of your income tax returns from prior years? 
  • Where can medical insurance information be located? 
  • Do you have life insurance?
  • Do you have long-term care insurance?
  • Do you have a prepaid funeral or cemetery plot?
  • Where is information about your homeowners and vehicle insurance?
  • Who are your medical professionals?
  • How do you keep track of appointments and are there appointments which need to be addressed?
  • If you are a business owner, who should be contacted to keep the business running?
  • If you have minor children, is there someone authorized to take custody of your children, pick them up from school or other activities?
  • If you have minor children, are their health records and medical providers available?

Be prepared.  Don’t leave your loved ones having to deal with more than your immediate needs.  Get organized.

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About the Author

Kay Sowa is a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Group at Capehart & Scatchard, P.A. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent, an Accredited Estate Planner®, and a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor. She oversees the trust and estate administration practice for the firm. She is an accomplished author and lecturer who has frequently spoken on behalf of a number of organizations including the National Business Institute and the Institute of Paralegal Education.

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