Free Just-In-Case Instructions

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Just-In-Case Instructions

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JUST-IN-CASE INSTRUCTIONS
For _______________ of _______________, Virginia

Created on _____________________

Signature _____________________


This document is intended to make it easier for anyone to manage my affairs in the event I become incapacitated or to manage my estate when death occurs. I created it for my family and anyone I have appointed as a representative, agent, or executor.

This document is not intended to be interpreted as a Last Will and Testament or Living Will. These guidelines are only intended to help family and caregivers manage my affairs.


Residence

  1. Address
  2. Address: ____________________
  3. Alarm System
  4. I do not have an alarm system.
  5. Mail
  6. Delivered to: My front door

Real Estate

  1. I do not own any additional real estate.

Vehicle

  1. I have the following vehicle:
    1. Make and Model: ____________________
      Key Location: ____________________

Employment

  1. I am not currently employed.

Dependent

  1. Dependent
  2. Name: _______________________
    Birth Date: ____________________
  3. Dependent Documents
  4. Important documents, such as birth certificates and passports, for my dependents are in the following location: ______________________________
  5. Emergency and Medical Care
  6. In the event of an emergency, the following person has agreed to care for my dependents:
    1. Full Name: ____________________
      Phone: ____________________
  7. I am not including information about medical care for my dependents.

Pet

  1. I do not have any pets.

Health

  1. Insurance
  2. I hold the following insurance policy:
    1. Type: ____________________
      Company: ____________________
      Broker Name: NA
      Phone: ____________________
      Email: ____________________

    Copies of my insurance policy are kept in the following location: ____________________

  3. Medications and Pharmacy
  4. I have not included information about medication I may be taking.

Financial Information

  1. Banking
  2. I have the following account:
    1. ____________________
      ____________________
      Account Type: ____________________
      Location of Statements: ____________________
  3. Investment
  4. I have not included information about investments.
  5. Bill
  6. All of my bills are automatically paid.
  7. Taxes
  8. I keep my previous year’s tax returns in my ____________________
  9. Debt
  10. I do not have any outstanding debts.
  11. Debtor
  12. I am not owed any money.

Important Documents

  1. My birth certificate is kept in ____________________
  2. My social security card is kept in ____________________
  3. My passport is kept in ____________________

Secure Storage

  1. ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________

    Location: ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________

    Instructions for Access: ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________

Devices and Online Accounts

  1. Personal Devices
  2. I prefer not to include information about accessing my personal devices.
  3. Online Accounts
  4. It’s important you’re able to access my online accounts. My accounts and passwords are on a file on my computer. The document path for the file is: ____________________

Just-in-Case Instructions Information

Alternate Names:

Just-in-Case Instructions may also be known as:

  • Estate Planning Letter of Instruction
  • Executor Instruction Letter
  • Letter of Last Instruction

What are Just-in-Case Instructions?

Just-in-Case Instructions compile your personal, legal, and financial information into a single document for quick reference. These instructions help someone you trust take care of a wide range of tasks on your behalf, from accessing your apartment and feeding your pets to knowing who to contact in an emergency.

Just-in-Case Instructions can also be invaluable to the executor of a Last Will and Testament, as the instructions can reduce time spent searching for information, assets, and personal belongings.

Who should use Just-in-Case Instructions?

Anyone who may be responsible for managing another person's real estate or personal property (either on short notice or as a long-term commitment) can benefit from Just-in-Case Instructions. This can include spouses, family members, friends, or anyone who you trust to look after your affairs on your behalf.

For instance, if you know you'll be away on an extended business trip or vacation, you could send these instructions to the person entrusted to take care your pets so they know what your pet will need while you're away.

Alternately, a person could refer someone to these instructions during an emergency to call your emergency contact person or find out if there are any important medications you need to take.

Just-in-Case Instructions can also be an asset to anyone who is formally appointed to be your personal representative, such as an attorney-in-fact in a Power of Attorney or an executor in a Last Will. Without these instructions, your representative may be left searching for information or locked out of a property they were supposed to manage.

What information should be included in my Just-in-Case Instructions?

Just-in-Case Instructions should include any personal, legal, and financial information that could guide someone as they manage your personal affairs.

LawDepot's Just-in-Case Instructions template allows you to customize information regarding topics such as:

Personal Details

Personal details are particularly helpful when you need someone to take care of your daily responsibilities while you are away or unavailable. For instance, you can provide information regarding work and family such as:

  • Your current employer
  • Your dependents, if any, and whether they have any relevant medical conditions
  • Your pets, if any, and details about feeding schedules or special care instructions

With these details, a person could contact your employer to inform them of your absence or take care of the people or pets you may be responsible for on a regular basis.

Property

Property can include real estate, vehicles, and other personal belongings. Information about your property can help someone to maintain and manage property in your absence. For example, you can provide a simple inventory of your property, including information about:

  • Your current residence (such as the address, location of keys, alarm system details, etc.)
  • Vehicle details (such as the make and model, outstanding payments, and insurance information)
  • Any additional real estate you may own

By providing this information, you can ensure the person who will be caring for your property will have access to the things you need them to manage. They'll also have a clear idea of any tasks they may need to complete on your behalf; for instance, you can specify whether or not your mortgage payments are automatic and, if they're not, which documents may be needed to make payments on your behalf.

Healthcare

If you're incapacitated, information about your medical history, healthcare plans, and personal preferences can help the people who are authorized to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. If the person reading your Just-in-Case Instructions is not authorized to make these kinds of decisions for you, they may still use this document to inform the people who are. For example, people may need to know details such as:

  • Your emergency care plan, including an emergency contact person
  • Contact information for your main physician or family doctor
  • Insurance details, including the type of coverage and the company name
  • Information about any medications you take and your preferred pharmacy location

By having this information, the person reading your Just-in-Case Instructions will be able to communicate your healthcare preferences to the people responsible for your care.

If you are married, your husband or wife may be legally entitled to make healthcare decisions for you. If you are not married, or you would like to specify someone other than your spouse to be your personal representative, you may need to create a Health Care Directive to grant this authority.

Financial Information

If you create a Power of Attorney, you can grant financial authority to someone acting as your personal representative (sometimes called an attorney-in-fact, agent, or mandatary). A list of your financial accounts will assist your attorney-in-fact as they manage your money. You can describe your financial situation with details about:

  • Banking (e.g. the name of your financial institution, the branch you deal with, and the accounts you've opened)
  • Investments (e.g. the name of the company you invest in, and your advisor's name and contact information)
  • Debts, including debts you owe or that are owed to you
  • Billing information (e.g. details of any bills that need to be paid or canceled)
  • Tax information

Creating a record of your financial information can also save time for your family members or executor when settling your estate after you've passed on. As such, it's important to include the location of financial and estate documents so the person reading your instructions can easily find the information they're looking for (e.g. "Mortgage documents are in a blue folder in the bottom, left-hand drawer of my desk").

Important Documents

The person reading your Just-in-Case Instructions may need access to certain documents before they're able to assist in managing your affairs. For example, a person formally appointed to act as your representative (such as an executor or health care proxy) may need to produce the legal document in which they were granted authority before they can act in their role.

The following documents can provide additional details and instructions to the people handling your estate:

  • Personal identification (e.g. birth certificates, passports, social security number, etc.)
  • Estate planning documents (e.g. Last Will and Testament, End-of-Life Plan, Power of Attorney, etc.)

Again, it's recommended you include the location of these documents for quick and easy access. If these papers cannot be located, the people appointed to act as your representatives may be unable to manage your affairs properly or in the way that you wish.

Storage and Access

Finally, information about any personal safes, safe deposit boxes, or self-storage units can help someone access any items needed to help manage your affairs. For instance, a self-storage unit may contain property you've given away in your Last Will and Testament that your executor needs to access. If your executor isn't aware of where your property is stored, they won't be able to distribute it as per your estate plans.

In addition, you can indicate where you keep information about accessing your personal devices (e.g. your laptop, tablet, or cell phone) so someone can communicate with people on your behalf, or manage or delete your online presence after you pass away. Your devices may also be filled with pictures and other digital assets that would be cherished by family members after you're gone.

Related Documents:

  • End-of-Life Plan: a document in which you can express your final wishes, such as the type of memorial service you wish to have, after you've passed away
  • Gift Deed: a document in which you can give a sum of money or another type of gift (such as property) to someone, with no expectations of compensation
  • Health Care Directive: a document that you can use to appoint a representative to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapacitated
  • Last Will and Testament: a document in which you can specify how your assets should be distributed after you've passed away
  • Power of Attorney: a document that you can use to appoint an attorney-in-fact to make financial, property, or real estate decisions on your behalf
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