In light of the events of this past year and the uncertainty that it has brought, it has never been more important to make sure you have all of your pertinent documents and information up to date and easily accessible to you and your loved ones.
What should you have? Important names and phone numbers of the people who handle your affairs, emergency papers, important personal documents, financial documents, and insurance policies. We have supplied a suggested list at the bottom of this post.
Where should you keep them? Originals should be kept in a safety deposit box or fire safe. Copies can be kept in a binder or accordion folder, something portable so you can grab and go. Many companies today have a cloud-based client portal that you can store document copies in, making them accessible wherever you are. Make sure a trusted family member or friend knows where to find this information in a time of need.
Make this a priority in your life. It will be one less thing to worry about if disaster or illness falls upon you.
The list below is by no means an exhaustive list of documents to keep accessible, but a great start to being prepared.
• Important Phone Numbers: Attorneys, Insurance Agents, Accountant, Financial Advisor, Medical, Veterinary
• Emergency Papers: Living Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Burial Instructions and Plot Deeds, Organ Donor Card, Safety Deposit Key
• Important Documents: Birth Certificates and Adoption Papers, Citizenship Papers, Social Security Cards, Marriage Certificates, Medical and Prescription Information
• Bank and Investment Information: Bank Accounts, Savings Bonds, Stock Certificates, Investment Information
• Estate Documents: Last Will & Testament, Trust Documents, Mortgage and Real Estate Documents, Automobile and other Titles (Airplane, Boat, etc.), Rental Agreements, Partnership Agreements, Marital Agreements
• Insurance Policies & Documents: Life Insurance Policies, Homeowners Policies, Auto and other Vehicle Policies, Business Policies, Mortgage Insurance
• Account Passwords: Bank, Brokerage, Utilities, Airlines, Credit Cards, Crypto Currency Keys