How cool would it be if homes could run themselves? They don’t (yet), so you need to make sure whoever runs the household shares the following information with a trusted soul who’s ready to take over if needed.
Aside from the obvious like the address and phone number, think about how the home is paid for (mortgage, rent), who needs to be paid and when, where you keep the deed or lease, insurance details, property tax information, and important people you’d want to reach in the event of an emergency (example: mortgage company, landlord, insurance agent).
By our estimation, most homes can have upwards of 15 utilities or vendors, sometimes much more. The most common utilities are electric, gas, water, internet/cable/phone, and heating oil. Be sure to keep track of the company providing the utility, account number, and payment info (example: monthly auto-payment via checking account). It’s also a good idea to keep at least one physical statement or the login info handy (if you access this account digitally).
Vendors and services
Vendors and services might be a little trickier, since you might not require many of them on a recurring basis. For example, you could have a set monthly exterminator visit or cleaning crew, but you only call the electrician when the power goes out or the plumber when a pipe bursts. Some could be seasonal, like landscaping, HVAC, pool care, or snow removal.
Just be sure to identify all possible vendors, include the name and contact info of the company or person providing the service, account number (if applicable), and payment info. How much does the service generally cost? Do you only pay cash for some services? You may also want to indicate where you keep receipts or warranties.
Staying safe and secure
What if someone had to get in your house for whatever reason − like a babysitter, trusted repair guy, or that one family member who never seems to remember the access code? Sharing instructions for entering the house, where you keep the extra key, security protocols (account number, master password, phone safe word) can save you from the hassle. Plus, if something goes missing, you’ll already have a list of possible culprits.
Smart homes are a reality, which has added a new level of convenience for all ... and extra complications for those who might not be technically inclined. Keep track of all your smart home devices, username and password to access the settings, and instructions for use. That’s information you should share so others in your household can adjust the thermostat or turn on the porch lights without having a mental breakdown.
Other real estate and storage
Don't forget to identify any other real estate holdings you own or rent, which might include rental properties, businesses, or plots of land. The same goes for storage lockers. Be sure to share the name of the storage facility, unit number, how to access it (key or lock combination), and the monthly or annual fee.
What would happen to your home if you weren’t around to run it?
This article is provided by Everplans — a life and legacy planning company dedicated to transforming the way people get their families organized. For more information, visit: everplans.com
Neither Transamerica nor its agents or representatives may provide tax, investment, or legal advice. Anyone to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely on their own independent tax and legal advisors and financial professional regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented herein.