1)  WHERE THE ORIGINAL WILL IS…..Identify the exact spot in your home.  If it’s filed with an attorney, provide the contact information; if it’s stored online, specify the website.  Don’t put it in a safe deposit box, where it can be difficult to access after your death.

2)  WHOM TO NOTIFY…..List people your executor or family might not think to tell or know how to reach, such as doctors, your employer’s HR chief, or clubs you belong to.  Include contact info to make things easier for the person delegated this task.

3)  YOUR PASSWORDS…..Share passwords and access codes for email, social media and other online accounts, and for any cellphones or computers.  Provide instructions about how to handle the accounts and devices.  Don’t want your executor to be able to access all this while you’re alive?  Give the passwords to someone else you trust.

4)  WHO GETS WHAT…..Specify what happens to nonfinancial items such as recipes, photos and mementos.  Thank about the things in your life that are special to you, that tell a little bit about you to future generations. 

5)  WHERE YOUR SECRETS ARE HIDDEN…..Point the executor — or another trustworthy person—to any skeletons you want cleaned from your closets, such as love letters from an ex, nude photos and medicine you have been covertly taking.


(from AARP Bulletin, May 2021)