Any document that might be needed to explain legally binding directions regarding your decisions or your wishes should be stored safely so that it can be quickly and easily accessed if something happens to you. Most people already have a filing folder to keep things like birth certificates and Social Security cards but there are other documents that you might want to have easily accessible in a fireproof safe so that they can be protected and easily found.
- Insurance documents
- Death certificates for loved ones
- A power of attorney naming someone else as your power of attorney agent
- A will, including the instructions for distributing your assets
- Organ donation forms
- A list of all of your assets
- Trust paperwork
- Legal documents like divorce or marriage papers
- Deeds to houses, cars or other property
- Contracts, particularly if they may be helpful in settling the estate
- Financial documents like tax records
Physical document storage involves hard copy records and it can usually be stored at your place of business, at a rented storage unit, safety deposit boxes or with your attorney. For digital documents storage, this is an online copy of your documents so this would include documents that don’t have to be signed or as scanned copies of an original hard copy document.
There are many different options available to you to back up this information safely. Schedule a consultation with a trusted estate planning lawyer to learn more.