Important Family Documents and How to Keep Them Organized

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Have you ever been in a situation where you needed a document and just couldn’t find it? Not even a copy or an older version was available? Then you found yourself making multiple phone calls, running around town and waiting countless weeks for said items to arrive in the mail? Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones!

If there were a medical emergency in your life, would your loved ones be able to find the important documents they needed? Do you or they know exactly where documents can be found right at this very moment? Below is a step-by-step list to help you get organized and communicate your plan with the appropriate parties.

When the time comes and someone needs to locate important documents, you’ll find that the following list makes things less complicated for everyone! So, let’s get started.

Step 1: It’s time to make copies and lists! Some people make copies of important documents simply by taking a photo of the following documents and saving those images onto a computer file. Others will print paper copies of these documents and put them some place safe. It’s up to you. Either way you do it, copies must be made.

 What documents should you keep copies of?

  • Birth Certificate
  • Credit and Debit Cards
  • Driver’s License
  • Insurance Information
  • Important phone numbers like your Doctor, Lawyer, Beneficiary, etc.
  • Legal Paperwork: Living Will, Power of Attorney, etc.
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Military Records
  • Mortgage Records
  • Social Security Card

Step 2: Store your documents in a safe place. After you’ve organized these documents and made necessary copies, it’s extremely important to put them in a place that makes you feel comfortable. Be organized about the way you store these documents. Consider putting them in a folder with an index as the front page. Place the above items in alphabetical order.

Consider putting them in a:

  • Locked filing cabinet (don’t lose the key – make a copy!)
  • Safe-deposit box
  • Agreed upon location with your Power of Attorney or lawyer
  • Password protected file on your computer

 Step 3: Communicate with the people you trust! It’s great to have everything you need right at your fingertips – organized and easy to find. But what if something happened and you were unable to tell anyone where these documents were stored? Tell at least two people where these items can be found. Make sure they have everything they’ll need to access these items – password, key, computer login, etc. 

Step 4: Sleep easy. Being prepared feels great! Sit back, relax and enjoy knowing that if something happens, you and your loved ones will be prepared with your most important documents.

It’s a great idea to keep important documents organized and in one safe place, whether it’s for emergency purposes or just in case you misplace your primary copies. If something unexpected happened and these items were in various places around your home, it could be problematic. It’s worth the time and effort it takes to get organized.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dial Retirement Communities at 402-964-0099.


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