This couple is gathering documents or the initial meeting with their estate planning lawyer

Estate planning is an essential process involving many financial, legal, and personal decisions. Organizing records and information properly can make this process smoother and more efficient. We get many questions about storing and organizing records at our public speaking events, so this article offers tips and links to helpful checklists and questionnaires to prepare for estate planning.

1. Organizing Essential Records and Information for Estate Planning

A well-organized estate plan starts with gathering all necessary documents and information. Records and information for estate planning include wills, trusts, property deeds, investment documents, and more. websites offer valuable tips and resources to help you organize these documents effectively. While it may seem easy, most people are less organized than they believe. However, a checklist or questionnaire designed for estate planning can guide you through this process. Families of nursing home residents and people interested in updating their estate plans can download checklists and questionnaires from our website at

2. Create a Digital Archive

In today’s tech-savvy world, having digital copies of essential records is crucial. Scanning and storing these in a secure digital archive ensures that they are easily accessible when needed. While home computer storage is a good start, risks of fire and storm damage make it risky to store everything in just one location. So, we encourage folks to use Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google Drive, or one of the many other affordable cloud-based storage solutions.

3. Designate a Trusted Person

Appointing a trustworthy individual who knows where all your information is stored and how to access it can be a lifeline in emergency situations. Whether a family member, a friend, or a professional, they act on your behalf when needed.

4. Consult Professionals

Estate planning is a legal matter that requires expert guidance. Speaking with an estate planning attorney can ensure that your plan complies with current laws and meets your specific needs.


Organizing records and information for estate planning is an essential step in preparing for the future and protecting your legacy. Although we could say much more, we hope this article helps you streamline the process.

More Information

For more information on this subject, see these previous Hawkins Elder Law Blog articles:;; and You can also contact us online at or call us at 812-268-8777.

About The Authors

Jeff and Jennifer are Trust & Estate Specialty Board Certified Indiana Trust & Estate Lawyers, and active members of the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indiana Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). Jeff is also a member of the Illinois NAELA Chapter, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.

While both Hawkins are admitted to practice law in Indiana, Jeff Hawkins is also admitted to practice law in Illinois.

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