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A relative of mine is in declining health and his wife fears he may die in the next few weeks.

I would like to give him a checklist of things he needs to write down. Something a bit more detailed than "all your computer and financial passwords, all your expected one-time and recurring income and expenses (both business and personal), and everything you would need to file your taxes."

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    That is a pretty detailed list right there. But you could add "Name of lawyer, location of signed and witnessed will (if one exists), ditto insurance policies, passwords for things like utilities" etc. – Dilip Sarwate May 15 at 20:49
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Checklist:

  • Names of all financial accounts (brokerage, bank, money market, annuity)
  • Insurance policies (car, home, business, private, military, medical, disability)
  • Motor Vehicle Bureau
  • Notification list (pension, Social Security, Veteran's Administration)
  • Recurring payment list (utilities, homeowner's association)
  • Credit card info
  • Credit agencies
  • Mortgage company
  • Professional contact names (lawyer, accountant)
  • Funeral home name and phone number
  • List of friends/relatives, alumni association, etc. to be contacted

For all, account numbers, passwords, as well as contact address and phone number should be provided

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  • He needs a will, should double check beneficiaries are correct on all accounts, and should consider whether to make anyone a joint owner of accounts that he wants to avoid probate for. Also, if he has any safe deposit boxes, the location of those keys should be written down and the will should NOT be kept in it. – Eric May 18 at 0:50
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People have written books of these checklists. In addition to the information listed in other answers, they mention labeling the keys on your keyring and getting a list of all of the people you do recurring but infrequent business with (dentist, hairdresser, veterinarian). The better books have forms to fill out and pockets into which to insert important papers.

Some of the books:

I have When I'm Gone and it has the obvious (will, friends/family) but also a lot of things we don't think about, such as keys and car maintenance records.

Everyone, not just those on the verge of death, should be documenting this kind of information.

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