Once you are an adult with bills and assets, you need to plan for the “WHAT IF” scenarios. There are people out there who need you and will be impacted should something unexpected happen to you. You need to think about this and how you will communicate to your loved ones if you aren’t able to do so physically.
First, you need a designated person. A person who will help you in the event you are hurt or something more serious happens to you, and you are unable to care for your household. Your “designated person” will need important information before an event occurs. Here is a list of the things I want you to scan and save to two USB drives. One is for your designated person, and the other is for you to keep and use if you need these copies.
This information is sensitive and should be protected with security measures. Here is the paperwork you should scan and save to a USB/Smart drive or secure cloud:
- Birth certificates
- Social security cards
- Military records
- Marriage licenses & divorce decrees
- Health insurance cards
- Life insurance policies
- Homeowners and auto insurance cards
- Deeds to home and titles cars
- Other property proof of ownership documents (like a 2nd home, or business you own)
- Personal property inventory list with photos
- Copies of your will and any healthcare directives
You should also create a list to be saved to your storage device that includes contact information for important people such as:
- Estate attorney
- Financial Advisor
- Executor of your will
- Healthcare proxy or person who you have designated to make healthcare decisions on your behalf
- Doctor’s who have and are providing you, and your spouse and children care
- List of medications currently taking (you will need to keep this updated)
- Social Security Office
- Monthly bill providers and their contact info (no need for a statement copy, just list the company, phone number, and an account number)
- Mortgage company
- Bank used for checking and savings accounts
- List of investment accounts and the company that holds these (ex: Fidelity, Schwab) and info on a person who is assigned to your accounts (again a statement isn’t necessary, but account number is helpful)
- List of outstanding debts
- Location of a particular personal letter with written wishes or words you want to say
- Local post office to forward mail if needed
We all are aware of shocking events that can happen in people’s lives. You will be better off having this information ready if you are hurt or should a natural disaster occur; such as a flood, tornado or earthquake. A USB drive can easily fit in your pocket or purse at a moment’s notice.
Discuss with your partner and family what you want in the case of a medical emergency. Tell them what you want them to do. Avoid making assumptions that they will know.
Make any unexpected event more comfortable for your loved ones by having a list like this and document copies easily accessible. Your loved ones want to focus on caring for you not stress about who to call or where to find information. Get this together and give it to your designated person(s) today! Don’t procrastinate and be caught off guard.
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