Paper preparedness...information you need to have ready!

If something should happen to you or your loved one, that can be a time of stress and you would not want to have to worry about finding appropriate paperwork.  With that in mind, here is a list which might start you getting those items in order:

1. Bank accounts and check numbers - You may also want to note where hard copies of checks are being stored, if applicable.  Keep a record of who the beneficiaries are if designated.

2. Birth certificates - If you can't find yours, you can order an official copy from the city or town in which you were born.

3. Brokerage account numbers, account Websites and passwords, broker contact info.  Most brokerage accounts have online account information that can be easily accessed.

4. Computer/Website passwords - These are important for your executor to have in order to close down any open online email services, subscriptions, PayPal accounts, online bank accounts and the like.

5. Family contacts - Provide the contact information of professionals who have assisted the family and who the executor will likely need to contact.

6. Health records - Provide your executor with all personal health records: This information will be important to the future generations of your family.

7. Home alarm code and location of instructions - It could be pretty embarrassing for your executor to trip off your alarm or not know how it works should you not be around.

8.  Insurance policies - Make sure life and health insurance policies can be located along with any agent or company information.

9.  Military discharge papers - These will come into play if military benefits are due to your beneficiaries.

10. Organ donor - If you are a donor, without proper documentation, your wishes will not be observed. 

11. Safe deposit box number and key - Some have one safe deposit box, others have many.  Regardless of your situation, make sure you leave clear instructions as to where yours is/are and how the executor can access it/them.

12.  Social Security number and card - This is important for identification and benefit claims - not just your Social Security number, but those of your beneficiaries, including minor children.

13. Trust documents - If you have created a trust, regardless of type, your executor will need to be able to locate and access the governing documents.

I am sure you may have other items you want to include on this list.  I hope this will help get the process underway for you which will lead to more peace of mind.  It is important for all of us to get our paperwork in order……..take care……..Regina

To access and familiarize yourself with typical legal documents or to develop a personalized plan in the event of an emergency, call or visit About Seniors at