I’ve been baffled as I discuss among friends and family how little many of them know about the finances of their family. Some of them only know how to access their joint checking/savings account and the amount and provider of their spouse’s life insurance. My parents recently asked me to be the executor for their estate. However, they gave me no actual information to guide me.

Are you married? Do you know everything that your spouse knows with regard to your joint and separate assets and liabilities? Do you know how to access the accounts? Do you know where to find important paperwork? Do you know where to find the safe deposit box key and do you have permission to access the box?

We recommend compiling a list of all your accounts and trusted advisors’ contact information and keeping it in a secure place where your loved ones can find it in case you suddenly pass away or become incapacitated. Especially with the proliferation of technology, it’s important to make sure your loved ones can access everything from your banking accounts to your social media accounts, should that prove necessary.

Are you the executor for your parents’ will? Have you thought about also getting a list of all their information? It may feel awkward, but if they should pass away you will need to put together the pieces and it can be very time intensive. Plan now for tomorrow to save yourself some stress at a time when the focus should be on grieving, honoring, and celebrating life.

We suggest gathering personal information and leaving it with a loved one.

Here are some examples of pertinent information:

  • Important contacts (e.g., financial advisor, estate attorney, accountant)

  • Location of your safety deposit boxes and keys. Make sure a loved one has access privileges

  • Computer and social media passwords

  • Location of your important documents (e.g., will/trust, passport, Social Security card, house deed, vehicle titles)

  • List of all bank and investment accounts

  • List of all credit cards and outstanding debt

  • List of all outstanding bills you pay on a regular basis

  • Insurance policy information

  • Employer contact information (e.g., regarding employee benefits) Modera has created a data template to help you organize the information for your loved ones

Download Our Personal Information Checklist (PDF)
Download Our Personal Information Checklist (DOCX)

If you have any questions, please reach out to your Wealth Manager. Additional resources to assist you and your family with personal information compilation and conservation:

Anna Lui is a Senior Marketing Manager at Modera.  She is responsible for managing external firm communications and supporting growth initiatives. 

Modera Wealth Management, LLC (“Modera”) is an SEC-registered investment advisor with places of business in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Modera may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. SEC registration does not imply any level of skill or training.  For information pertaining to our registration status, fees and services, please contact us or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure web site (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov) to obtain a copy of our disclosure statement set forth in Form ADV Part 2A. Please read the disclosure statement carefully before you invest or send money.

This article is limited to the dissemination of general information about Modera’s investment advisory and financial planning services that is not suitable for everyone. Nothing herein should be interpreted or construed as investment advice nor as legal, tax or accounting advice nor as personalized financial planning, tax planning or wealth management advice. For legal, tax and accounting-related matters, we recommend you seek the advice of a qualified attorney or accountant. This article is not a substitute for personalized investment or financial planning from Modera. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed herein will come to pass, and the information herein should not be considered a solicitation to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. The statements, information and opinions expressed in this article are subject to change without notice.

Investing in the markets involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security or to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. Individual client asset allocations and investment strategies differ based on varying degrees of diversification and other factors. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or guarantee against a loss.