The most important thing that you can do to assist your loved ones in the event of incapacity or death is not having your estate plan documents in order (which is very necessary) but instead is getting organized and leaving the information in a place and in a manner that can be used when the time comes.
A Durable Power of Attorney will not be very effective is assisting you during incapacity if no one know where your assets are or what bills need to be paid.
Your Will or Trust will be difficult to administer if your Personal Representative or Trustee cannot find the assets.
Leave a trail of breadcrumbs! In other words, get organized and let them know where the information is.
What do you need to do?
Make a listing of all financial accounts, with institution and account number.
Streamline bill paying by setting up automatic payments wherever possible.
Leave the contact information for any financial advisors, attorneys, and accountants.
Update your beneficiary designations.
Make a listing of all insurance policies, including medical and long-term care.
Update your estate planning documents so that they are current and relevant. Leave them in a location that is known to your family.
Make a list of all doctors and medications you are currently taking
Have a medical directive and discuss your wishes with your family
Make a listing of all bills, the account numbers, passwords, usernames, etc., and how they are paid: automatic withdrawal from checking, or from savings? Automatic billing to a credit card?