WaPo – Here are the documents you need to bulletproof your wishes after you die


  • documents you should have to help carry out your final requests, according to Colleen Carcone, an attorney and director of wealth-planning strategies at TIAA
  • Letter of instruction
    •  instructions about your funeral and burial
    • a crib note of the location of your financial assets – insurance policies –  passwords to your computer and smartphone
  • will or trust
    • a durable power of attorney – enables someone to manage your finances
    • be careful whom you trust with your power of attorney. This is a powerful document
    • A trust also will bypass probate and keep your estate affairs private – If your financial affairs are relatively simple, you don’t need a trust, which can cost substantially more than a will.
  • Personal property memorandum
    • use the memorandum to take your time in dividing up keepsakes
    • refer to the memo in your will
  • Advanced health-care directives
    • addition to the living will
    • have a “health-care proxy,” which names somebody to make medical decisions on your behalf
    • proxy gives your doctors permission to speak to your designated agent about your condition
  • a “living will” 
    • dictate what life-prolonging procedures you prefer

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