If something were to happen to you — emergency, illness, disability, death — could you easily lay your hands on your most vital documents? If one of your family members needed to retrieve your birth certificate or insurance policies for you, could they? Be sure you can answer “yes” to this question.
a document locator is a list of where your vital records are stored
makes things easier on your loved ones in a time of emergency or death
includes the location of each item — address, directions, and important contact info
helps others take care of your affairs for you if you are incapacitated
list of accounts
statements and canceled checks
checkbook and passbook
safe deposit box and key
contracts and agreements
trademarks, patents, copyrights, and licenses
financial adviser and investment broker
guardianship and custody documents
social security cards
proof of citizenship
military service records
burial or cremation instructions
cemetery plot deeds
other death benefits
property and casualty
homeowners or renters
stock and bonds
powers of attorney
originals of vital documents should go in a safe or safe deposit box
anything that would be difficult to replace if everything you own is destroyed
ex: birth certificates, insurance policies, stock certificates, etc.
keep copies in your home file for quick reference
be careful about storing end-of-life documents in a safe deposit box
box may be sealed upon your death and hard for relatives to access
better to keep in a home fire safe or give copies to executor and attorney
take everything out of your wallet and copy it front and back — put copy in safe deposit boxClick here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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