Here are some thoughts from the great personal finance book Grow Your Money!: 101 Easy Tips to Plan, Save, and Invest. They list four documents you'll need as part of your estate plan as follows:
- A will.
- A durable power of attorney.
- An advance (health-care) directive.
- Letter of instructions.
We've talked a lot about the first three, so I want to focus in on the last one (also because I'm in the process of putting one together.) Here's what they say should be included in a letter of instruction:
A list of information you'll need to know in case of an emergency.
Information on medical insurance plans, Social Security number, date of birth, names and phone numbers of doctors, accountants, and brokers; veteran discharge dates; marriage dates.
Locations and information on life and disability insurance policies, the deed for the home, the car title, stocks and mutual funds, bank certificates, and pre-paid funeral receipts.
A list of the contents of any safe deposit boxes.
The location of the checkbook and ATM card.
I would add that you should include passwords for key accounts -- banks checking accounts, investment accounts, etc.
Also, this list sounds a lot like 12 Critical Things Your Family Needs to Know (FYI, if you had subscribed to my giveaway newsletter, you would have had the chance to win a copy of the book in September.) :-)