Essential Documents to have on file
I’ve been thinking a lot about wills, document emergency kits and ‘what if’ situations.
I HAVE ACTUAL ASSETS NOW!
When I was younger, I didn’t have many assets to be considered significant. Who really worries about the $20 you have stashed as coins in a piggy bank?
However as I am getting older, I am accumulating quite a bit of assets that could be very confusing to wade through unless it was laid out neatly for people to find.
I wouldn’t want to cause problems for people in my life just because I didn’t have my shizz together.
A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX SOLUTION
I am considering opening a safety deposit box where I keep documents that are very important in a file folder that can be accessed.
I would give access to a trusted family member such as my mother, and if in the event of any problems, she can go to the bank, get the key and find the files she needs for everything.
I have the option of either putting everything on a password protected USB key with a password that only my mother could know, or actual papers.
I am leaning towards the USB key solution for two reasons:
- It will be password protected, just in case the bank gets robbed
- It is easier to manage documents as a data file rather than in paper
The only thing I could see being a problem is if authorities would need the originals such as birth certificates and so on.
I suppose I could make an exception for that.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL, IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS TO KEEP?
So far, I’ve come up with a list:
- Contact Information
- Original Will
- Letter of Instructions
- Trust Documents
- Property Deeds
- Proof of Loans and Debts
- Vehicle Titles
- Stock/Bond/Other Financial Certificates
- Company Agreements (if applicable e.g. shares in a company)
- List of Bank Accounts and Online Logins
- List of Safe Deposit Boxes
- Living Will
- Personal and Family Medical History
- Durable Health-Care Power of Attorney
- Authorization to Release Health Care
- Do not resuscitate (DNR) order
- Life Insurance Accounts
- Life Insurance Policies
- Retirement Accounts
- Certificates: Birth, Citizenship
- Other Online Accounts: Email
- Tax Returns (last 3 years)
- Scanned copies of: Passport, Social Security card
- LifeHacker: How to create an in-case-of-emergency kit
- Wall Street Journal: 25 documents you need before you die
- Erik Dewey: The Big Book of Everything
SO…WHERE TO START?
I guess I just start making folder on my computer, typing up documents that I can do on my own without a lawyer to notarize them, and go from there!
Maybe this can be my personal goal for 2012.