What is considered “important”?
- Copies of
- Driver’s License
- Birth Certificate
- Death Certificate(s)
- Marriage certificates
- Adoption papers
- Bank & Brokerage Accounts
- Debit and credit cards (copy of each side)
- Copy of a check for each account
- One bank statement (issued within the past year)
- Mortgage agreement
- Home-equity loan agreements
- Tax returns (past 3 years)
- Wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents
- Names & contact information for all executors, trustees, guardians, and financial advisers.
- Insurance policies and agent contact information
- List of user IDAs and passwords for all online financial accounts
- List of assets and liabilities
We spend a lot of time and money preparing ourselves and family for “the one day”. Life insurance policies, wills, burial plots. All that work can go down the drain if trusted relatives cannot find it when the day comes.
Take the time to pull this information together. It is your responsibility after all — no one else.
I recommend sending the copies to a trusted relative, friend, or to someone who has legal responsibility to act on your behalf. Keep copies for yourself. Place in a red folder marked “Important”. And as one last backup, place a copy in a firesafe box and/or safe deposit box. Update the files every 2-3 years.
Until next time…