After you die, there is nothing more you can do to help your executor close out your estate, so you should think of anything you can put into place while you are alive to help your executor. With all the assets your estate may contain and all the arrangements your executor must handle, your executor could probably benefit from an organized plan.
Consumer Reports recommends that once you have finished your estate planning, you could compose a set of guide documents that provides your executor with all the necessary information to fulfill your estate wishes. You may give these documents to your executor or put them in a secured location and let your executor know where to access them. Consider including the following information in your guide.
Locating your important documents
Do not assume your executor will know where all of your important documents are or that your executor knows how to find them. If you provide a list of where you keep the original copies of your will, your property deed and any trust documents you have, you can make it easier for your executor to pull together your information and start working on your estate.
Listing your account information
Your executor may need to get into your financial or online accounts. This can be difficult if your executor does not know your user names and passwords. To make sure your executor can access your accounts without delay, list your account information in your guide documents. Since you will likely change your user names and passwords more than once during your life, you should update your documents accordingly so that your executor does not end up with outdated information.
Describing your funeral wishes
People sometimes put their funeral wishes only in a will. This can be a problem since executors often gain access to wills only after the burial and funeral has taken place. To avoid making your family guess your burial and funeral wishes, describe what you want in your guide documents and provide the information to your family as well.
Listing adviser contact information
There may be people that your executor should know to contact after your death. Naturally, your executor should know how to reach all the people who would benefit from your estate. In addition, you may have worked with an attorney or a financial adviser on your estate plans. Your executor may benefit from contacting them.