What if something happened to you? Would your family know where to find your important personal and financial papers? Gather all of your important information together in one place. Make sure that the place you choose is fire proof and secure to prevent identity theft. To be extra careful, put copies of all of your important papers in a safety deposit box. If you don't have a safe storage place or a safety deposit box, consider buying a fire-proof safe or a strong box. You will feel a lot better about your finances once you have all of your information organized and secure.
To make the process of collecting your information easier, use our Important Information Inventory Sheet. Many of your personal papers may be particularly precious and all of them would difficult to replace.
- Family Members and Friends: Create a list of names and contact information, Social Security Numbers, driver's license numbers and state of license
- Family Records: Passports, green cards/naturalization records, marriage licenses, divorce papers, birth certificates, fingerprints and photos (especially children), religious records
- Bank Account Information: Bank name, contact information, account numbers, personal identification number
- Documents About Your Residence: Mortgage lender name and contact information, landlord or building owner name and contact information, account numbers, location of the deed or lease/rental agreement, and home/rental insurance information
- Health Insurance: Company name, contact information, type of insurance, policy number
- Charge and Credit Cards: Company names, contact information, account and pin numbers
- Safe Deposit Boxes: Bank name, contact information, box number, key, people with access
- Investments: Investment company name, contact information, account numbers
- Wills and Health Care Proxy: Name of attorney, contact information, location of originals and copies
- Life Insurance Policies: Name of insured and contact information, name of carrier/agent and contact information, policy numbers
- Vehicles: Make/model/year, vehicle ID number, license plate and state of license, lender name and contact information, location of title, insurance company name and contact information, policy number, location of policy