An estate directory is designed to help you organize critical personal information to be used at a time when it will be needed the most. Documenting this data now will prepare others to assist with your affairs in the event of a severe disability or untimely death.
An estate directory will help to quickly locate the important people in you life, as well as your important personal papers, at a time when things are already complicated enough. The benefit of this type of advance planning is enormous and people who might ordinarily be overlooked will be contacted immediately.
This directory should be left with an advisor you trust, and its whereabouts should be identified on a card you carry with you at all times. Some of the key elements of an estate directory are:
- A list of where your documents are located – Filing systems for important documents and information are often designed to suit personal needs, and are not necessarily as clear to another person as they are to the “creator” of the system. Begin by identifying where your home, office and safekeeping files are located. Then identify in which location each specific document can be found. If an advisor listed in this directory is holding documents in trust, clearly identify this person.
- A list of persons to contact in case of an emergency.
- An outline of your personal information such as; your Social Security number, your employer’s name and address, your spouse’s name, insurance numbers and contacts, your parents and/or children’s names.
- A list of relatives and friends to notify.
- A list of advisors to consult or notify, such as key financial advisors, lawyer, accountant, religious advisor, doctor, dentist or life insurance agent.