Gathering the Important Documents
Are you as organized as you should be? Chances are the answer is “no.” In today’s busy life, most of us are just doing our best to hold things together day-to-day.
Then, the unthinkable happens. Someone you love dies, leaving you with more questions than you could ever answer. Like, “Where is our marriage certificate?” Or, “What did we do with the pink slip to the car?”
Now’s the time to do your best to locate as many of the following documents as possible:
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage Certificates
- Bank Books
- Stock Certificates
- Military Discharge Papers
- Social Security Card
- Tax Forms
- Vehicle and Boat Titles
- Insurance Policies
While you’re going through the desk drawers and filing cabinets, you’ll run across documents that you think may be useful. Add them to the pile. In the coming weeks, you may need them.
If you have questions about anything related to the search for the important papers, call us. We’re here to help.
That’s great. Having a select place to store important documents, like bills and personal records, can come in handy in helping settle an estate after death without having to search and sift through mounds of paperwork.
Why not create a "When I'm not here to find this" file? You could name it anything you want, but that title fits nicely. This is where you’ll organize your family’s documents, so those you leave behind can easily find what they need when the time comes.
So what important documents should you keep in your "When I'm Dead" file? Here are a few suggestions:
- Final documents, which include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. Copies of these documents should also be given to a trusted individual for safekeeping.
- Income information, including social security and child support and alimony documents.
- Investment accounts, including retirement accounts, mutual funds, and college saving plans.
- Credit cards account information
- Bills and banking information, which involves clearly explaining how bills are paid and includes any necessary information and instructions for bills paid online.
- Insurance policies, including life, health, auto, and disability or long-term care insurance papers.
- Other important paperwork, including military records, old tax returns, and birth, marriage, and death certificates.
- Digital asset account information, which includes email and social media accounts, online services, and financial accounts. You want to organize and store essential passwords, access keys, PINs, and other sensitive information in a safe place that can later be accessed by your family or another trusted individual upon your death.