Before You Go …
Most travel is planned well in advance. We make choices about the destination, mode of travel, type of accommodations, what activities and events we will attend and schedule the return trip home. Then in advance of departure we start producing lists. We make lists of what to pack, a list of instructions for the person caring for our home, pets, and /or plants, a list of emergency contacts … and so on. But, have you also thought about preparing a list of where to find your important documents just in case you don’t come back?
Of course we plan to return home, but does that mean we shouldn’t be prepared just in case? What if family or close friends have to come in and locate your major documents with no clue as to what or where they are? Produce a list of all your important documents/bank accounts and investments, indicating where each item is kept; i.e., home file, safe deposit box, attorney’s office or a brokerage, for example.
Tell someone trusted where the list can be found and the location of your safe deposit key. Include a list naming your next-of-kin, attorney and/or executor, your spiritual leader and their phone numbers. Having this information in one convenient place will be a significant help at a difficult time.
Make a list just of the contents of your safe deposit box. Be sure to update the list when items are added or removed. Items to keep in your safe deposit box would include birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, life insurance policies, property deeds/titles, military service papers, stock and bond certificates, loan agreements, jewelry and other valuables not in everyday use.
Documents which should be accessible (not in a safe deposit box) would be your will, trust agreement, power of attorney, living will, medical directives and your burial plans. You may wish to keep these items filed together in your home; however, your attorney or executor may also hold the originals or copies.
Before planning your next trip, take time now to prepare, it will save you/your loved ones time and stress and ensure your wishes are fulfilled. If you need guidance, contact Patti Price, director of planned giving at 610-625-7915