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25 Documents you Need

Posted 8/7/2015

Posted in

  Having spent a couple of hours this morning at the lawyer's office, updating our wills and estate planning and powers of attorney, I am thinking about the need to plan and organize one's business. Now, this is a different project than cleaning the attic and throwing out piles of things that were moved from my parents' house to mine and not looked at since. That should be done, too.

  My thanks to Ann who shared this article from the Wall Street Journal. I am going to print it out and starting working my way through. You might consider doing the same.

The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die

It isn't enough simply to sign a bunch of papers establishing an estate plan and other end-of-life instructions. You also have to make your heirs aware of them and leave the documents where they can find them.

Consider: At least 10 states have been investigating whether some of the country's largest insurers are failing to pay out unclaimed life policies to beneficiaries. California and Florida have held public hearings on the issue in recent weeks.

Insurers say they are behaving lawfully. Under policy contracts, they aren't required to take steps to determine if a policyholder is still alive, but instead pay a claim when beneficiaries come forward.

You can avoid such problems by securing important documents and telling your family where they are stored.

Jean Parr is grateful that her mother obsessed about the subject. "I really didn't want to think about it," says Ms. Parr, 54 years old, a manager at the American Chemical Society in Washington. But when her mom died in 2005, she knew exactly where to look for the will, the key to a safe-deposit box and documents indicating her mother had paid and arranged for her own funeral.

Read more and then get busy:


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  • Patricia Hogan said:
    8/11/2015 10:43 AM

    Another excellent resource is: Your Last Best Gift: An End of Life Workbook. Very detailed. Just google the title.