In an emergency, would your family know where to find your important documents? It’s a good idea to keep original documents together in a single, safe storage location outside of your home. You should also keep a digital or hard copy folder of photocopies in a more accessible location.
You should let your spouse or beneficiary know where these important documents are kept and provide them with any access information, passwords, PINs or codes necessary. Make a copy of keys to any storage unit or locked files and label them clearly. Review your documents regularly to make sure they are up to date. Shred out-of-date documents to cut down on clutter and confusion.
The Important Files Checklist
☐ Marriage, Birth, and Death Certificates
☐ Wills and Trust
☐ Financial Records and Insurance Beneficiaries
☐ Advance Medical Directives and Powers of Attorney
☐ Summary of VA Benefits
☐ DD Form 214
☐ Social Security Administration Summary of Benefits
☐ Divorcee Decrees
☐ Adoption Papers
☐ Naturalization Papers
☐ Vehicle Title and Registration Papers
☐ Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) or Retiree Account Statement (RAS)
☐ Medical Treatment Records