Consumer Reports’ blog had a great article today about having your documents organized in case of emergency. I’m reproducing their included table here and linking to them. I figure if maybe I link enough times they won’t ask me to remove it.
The good news is that I already do most of this. Spending so many y ears as an insurance agent I saw the value in these preparations. Something I also recommended that I don’t see here is a written and video inventory of your possessions, including as much detail as possible (where bought, how much paid) expecially for the big ticket items.
|TYPE OF STORAGE||DOCUMENT(S)||KEEP A COPY?||WHERE TO STORE DUPLICATE?|
|SAFE-DEPOSIT BOX||Birth and death certificates; marriage license; adoption, citizenship, divorce papers||Yes||Home file|
|Inventory and photos of household property||Yes||Home file|
|Deeds, titles, bills of sale, car title, mortgage||Yes||Home file|
|List of location of important papers||Yes||Home file|
|HOME FILE CABINET||Tax returns; supporting documents for past 3 to 7 years||No||–|
|Bank-account information||Yes||Friend’s or relative’s home or at your office|
|List of all assets, including brokerage and mutual-fund accounts, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, real property, and employee-benefit accounts||Yes||Friend’s or relative’s home or at your office|
|ATTORNEY’S OFFICE||Will, durable power of attorney||Yes||Home file and executor or personal representative|
|Funeral instructions||Yes||Friend or relative|
|Living will, health-care power of attorney||Yes||Home file, physician, personal representative|
|Location of safe-deposit box||Yes||Joint owner, friend, or relative|
|WALLET||Driver’s license or other photo I.D.||yes||Home file|
|Auto insurance card||Yes||In car|
|Blood type, list of allergies, medications||No||–|
I don’t know about you, but I know it would help calm me in the time of an emergency to know that much of the information I need is safe and sound, organized and easily accessible. And when we lose someone we love our grief is tempered slightly by the knowledge that they cared enough to prepare and make the logistics of dealing with the aftermath as easy as possible.
Go forth and organize!