Essential Life Documents

There may come a moment when your personal information is required to resolve a personal crisis. Legally binding documents are required for important processes like veteran’s benefits or selling a home. Maintaining these records in one location will afford you peace of mind if an emergency occurs. After gathering your information, make sure to tell your designated contact where the documents are located and update these documents, as necessary.

Financial Documents

Legends about long-lost gold tucked away in great-grandmother’s home make for engaging stories shared around a holiday table. By organizing your information, your finances will stay safe and not become a missing family treasure. Here are the key financial documents you should have available to use: 

  • List of bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts (pension, 401(k), IRAs, Roth IRAs, TSP, annuities, etc.)
  • Tax Returns
  • Savings accounts
  • Safe deposit boxes
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Debt Accounts (credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc.)
  • Property deeds
  • Vehicle titles
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances (Financial Proxy)

Healthcare Documents

A medical crisis can occur from something as simple as a fall or car accident. Planning for this crisis makes all the difference in your medical care and comfort. Your medical documents should include:

  • Living will
  • Personal medical history
  • Medications list (Rx & OTC)
  • Allergies
  • Insurance policies (health insurance, long-term care, etc.)
  • HIPAA release authorization
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (Medical Proxy)

End-of-Life & Estate Planning Documents

While difficult to discuss, preparing end-of-life documents offers peace of mind confirming your wishes are honored. Having these documents available and in one location allows you and your family to manage the orderly transfer of property and assets to the next of kin.

  • Will
  • Trust documents
  • End of life instruction letter

Other Essential Documents

Our lives are bookended by certificates of birth and death. In between, we need certain documents to facilitate our lives. These documents should be stored in a safe, but accessible location. Access to your legal documents (as listed below) helps guarantee your insurance or benefits aren’t interrupted at a critical time.

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage & divorce papers
  • Military records
  • Contact list (family, relatives, close friends, attorney, financial planner, tax advisor, etc.)
  • Social Security Card
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Online account information (Facebook, Pinterest, Netflix, online banking, etc.)

If gathering all of these documents seems overwhelming, or you simply don’t have the time to do it, a life care manager is ready to help. Visit our services page to learn more about how Nevada Advocates can help you collect and manage your essential life documents.