It feels great to be prepared and organized for your death

portable paper file box

Most of us like to avoid thinking about leaving this earth.  One of the best gifts you can give the loved ones is to tell them your end-of-life wishes and to have your important papers organized and easy to find.

The box in the photo is what my dad referred to as his “death box,” but I call it a brilliant box and idea.

This is where we found his important documents when he passed away. For the most part, his estate was settled with relatively little confusion because of this organized box.

What exactly is a death brilliant box?

It’s a small file box, binder, or anything capable of organizing important papers and information in ONE location.

Who needs a death brilliant box?

What papers or information should I keep in the box or binder?

Anything useful should you die or become incapacitated. Especially if you are single or if you want to make life less stressful for a partner or your family. Most of the information listed is only needed for estate settlement.

Here is a list to get you started.

Photocopy of your ID or driver’s license
Photocopy of your health insurance card(s)

A list of your medications/prescriptions

All your life insurance policies
Long-term care insurance

A copy of your:
CURRENT living will
CURRENT power of attorney

The names of your power of attorney and your power of health care
A suggested list of information to also include in your file box or binder:

Funeral and burial plans

Information about your burial plot and monument

The location of your safe deposit box and its key

Contact information for your:

Financial planner
Pets Veterinarian

The location of your most recent tax return or the contact information for your tax preparer

A list of bills you have paid automatically

Account numbers for your:

Financial institutions (banks, credit unions)
Retirement investments
Credit cards
Mortgage Loan
Other loans

Investment information for stocks certificates and CDs

Important Passwords

If you have an off-site storage unit, include contact information

Cell phone password and provider information

Social security number


Employer information

Passwords to accounts you want to be deleted:
Social media
Computer password

What if I’m too overwhelmed to start compiling this information?

Choose one item from my list to start on. For example, your health insurance information or make a photocopy of your insurance card.

Taking the time to organize this crucial information may feel tedious but it is worth the peace of mind. Think of it as a gift for your loved ones.

Click here for a printable PDF of this article. Use it as a checklist.


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