You should store your necessary documents/financial guide in a safe place, such as a bank safety deposit box or fireproof safe at home, where it can be easily located after your death.
If you keep them in a safety deposit box, you’ll need to arrange for your executor to have access to the box after your death. Many states put a freeze on a safety deposit box at death, which makes it more difficult to retrieve the necessary documents.
Get a file folder, such as an expendable accordion folder, and label each tab as follows:
- Summary of Documents – This is just a list of the documents that are contained in your folder.
- Letters for loved ones – Write letters for spouse, children, and other loved ones.
- Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, & Social Security Cards
- Home Insurance – A copy of the policy.
- Life Insurance – A copy of the policy.
- Auto Insurance – A copy of the policy.
- Health Insurance – A copy of the policy.
- Long-term Disability Insurance – A copy of the policy.
- Identity Theft Insurance – Information about provider or a copy of the policy.
- Umbrella Liability Insurance – A copy of the policy.
- Estate Documents:
- Revocable Family Living
- Pour Over Will
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Bank account information, including passwords and account numbers.
- Divorce Decrees and Custody paperwork
- Medical Insurance papers and copies of cards
- Copy of drivers licenses and military IDs
- Any military discharge information (DD214)
- Cash-you decide how much your family would need for 2-7 days
- A Master list of major accounts and their passwords/pins (banking, money markets, CDs, stocks, etc.)
- A CD copy of computer information; back up file
- A CD or flash drive with pictures from computer
- Appraisals of jewelry, antique furniture, or valuables
- Deeds of auto, boat, homes, RV’s
- Irreplaceable memorabilia; letters, jewelry, pictures, etc.
Place the corresponding documents inside the folder behind its corresponding tab. Place the folder inside the safety deposit box or in your fireproof box. Make sure that each spouse and adult children and/or your successor trustee know where you keep this file, e.g. bank safety deposit box or in a fireproof safe at your home. They should know the combination to safe or have a key. When you die, they will know where all documents are stored.