The New Year gets us thinking about things we would like to accomplish and ways to get more organized. Assisting senior parents or a loved one in gathering and organizing vital personal documents is a New Year’s Resolution that is certain to pay dividends in the future.
Waiting for a medical or financial crisis to hunt for important documents which may be essential in assisting you in getting help or services in a timely manner for aging family members is a recipe for stress and often results in additional cost, in both time and money, to you or your loved one. Over a lifetime important personal documents seem to scatter or are filed away in different places. Just think about it, where is the deed to your home, birth certificate of high school diploma? Purchasing a file box, cabinet or designating an existing file area to assist your loved one in gathering important documents will save you time and money in the future.
There is nothing more stressful then being in crisis mode and not knowing where to locate documents you need. Below we have put together a list of things we believe you should take note of when getting your parent(s) organized.
MAKE TWO COPIES OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS (Adult child keeps on the other copy goes in the file box). Note: Download this checklist below.
- Social Security Cards
- Picture ID or Drivers License
- Medicare Card
- Any Other Medical Insurance Card
- Credit Cards
- Birth/Marriage/Divorce/Death Certificates
- Military Discharge Paperwork
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Advanced Directives
- Burial Trust of Any Prepaid Burial Arrangements with a Funeral Home
- Current Medication List
- Life Insurance Policy ( make sure you have the policy number and phone contact)
- Long Term Care Insurance Policy with contact information
Things to know and to take note of:
- Is there a safe deposit box? If so where is it located and where is the key?
- Banks – Types of accounts, checking, savings, loans, certificate of deposits with account numbers.
- Tax Returns – Where do they keep their copies or the name and contact information for who prepares the tax returns?
- Do they have Investment and Brokerage Accounts? What are they, account numbers and contact information of the firm(s) handling them.
- Name and contact for any Attorney already involved with handling their affairs.
- Name and phone number of all Physicians
We have added some easy to use checklists to aid you in the process. Download your copy below. Knowing where things are and assisting your loved one with the process will put everyone at ease and it s great organizational start to the NEW YEAR.