Making it easy for those left behind

December 30, 2020

Submitted by Pat Heitman

Area Agency on Aging Volunteer


This is information is based on my personal experience of a resident of Colorado when my aunt passed away in 2016.

On a single piece of paper (if possible).  Begin with your current address, your social security number, and telephone number.

On this paper, list your attorney.  If possible this would be the person or office that drew up your will and any powers of attorney.  Include the name of attorney, phone number and account number if there is one.  The attorney and broker will work together to get you a tax ID number for some of the money is in a trust.

If you have investments, list your broker, their phone number, account number and address.

List the name & phone number of the person who does your income tax each year.  Put the newest year in a place where it can be easily found.

If you expect your house to be sold and the money divided among your heirs, you may want to choose a realtor.  Enter the company name, name of agent, address and phone number.

List all banks where you have money with the name of the bank, your account number,  type of account, and password if you do business on line.  If you have a safety deposit box, list where to find that key and what the box number is for what bank.  You may want another person to be a signatory on your account at the bank so bills can easily be paid following your passing.  Having another person sign with you for the safety deposit account will simplify getting that open and emptied.

I traced each of my keys and listed the lock each opens then put all the keys together in one place.

List all your employers, their name, address, and phone number. You may have benefits coming from that business.  You will need to provide the name, address and phone number for each living relative with their relationship to the deceased.

List the social security phone number (1-800-772-1213) and your social security number.  List your Medicare account number. (1-800-663-4227)

List all credit cards in your name, with the store name and phone number, and your account number for each card, plus your password if you do business on line or over the phone

List organizations you belong to such as Costco and Sam’s with your account number.  What accounts do you pay for annually (such as life lock) and list what month you made that payment. Keep that bank statement or credit card statement handy.

Include any protection contracts like life lock, When you contact this type of security company, they will probably advise you to call the three credit reporting companies.  .

Transunion 1877-322-8228

Experion 1888-397-3742

Equifax 1866-349-5191

List any  insurance policy, policy number, and address.  Include what the insurance covered (i.e. Car, house, life).

List each utility with the type of utility (electric, gas water, garbage, sewer, TV, phone – landline and cell, medical alert service), your account number and phone number for each.

List all subscriptions with the name of the magazine, phone number, and expiration date if known.  Don’t forget the daily newspaper.

If possible prepay the mortuary and church (if having a service).  You might want to check a number of mortuaries as the prices can differ a great deal.

If you have a handyman, housecleaner, or a lawn care person, list their names and their phone numbers.

If the house is being sold, list a cleaning crew or person to come in and do a thorough cleaning.

Your heirs may need more than the usual number of death certificates that are automatically given by the mortuary.  If, when you have reviewed this list and believe you will need more, you or your heirs can request them up front at a lower cost.

US Post Office services can be changed on line ( or by contacting the postal service. If your heirs do not live near you, they may want to have your mail forwarded.  If they receive any notices to make an appointment or you have an upcoming appointment, they should have information to call them to inform that office of the death.

If your death is imminent, you might want to enroll with hospice.

If everything is to be sold, then divide the money, list the person who can handle the estate sale.

Have you considered whether you want a funeral, memorial, or any service at all.  If you hope to have a ceremony, have you decided what songs, what readings. how your obituary should read.  Talk to the people at your church about what they need.   The difference between a funeral and a memorial seems to be whether there is an interment ceremony or not.  All this information should also be included for your heirs in an easy to find location.

Much of this information can also be found in the annual publication of the Colorado Senior Law Handbook. This is published by the Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc.  303 860-0608.  Google KUSA or Colorado Senior Law Handbook 2016.



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