Protect your paper trail.
- Store important documents in a safe place.
- At home: fireproof safe
- Away from home in a secure location: safe-deposit box
- Document categories
- Emergency contact information: family members (local, out-of-town contact), schools, work, home/visiting teachers, emergency services, doctors, dentist, attorney
- Personal identification: identification cards (with photo and fingerprints), vital records (birth, marriage, death, adoption certificates), social security cards, copies of driver’s licenses, passports, military records, medical records (doctors, dentist, prescriptions, immunizations, allergies, disability, authorization for treatment of minors)
- Financial/legal: proof of residence, property deeds, bank accounts, safe deposit box, credit cards, insurance policies (life, home, auto, medical), tax returns (seven years), investments (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.), loans (I owe, owed to me), wills (power of attorney, legal guardians), attorney/accountant contact information, funeral plans, computer backups
- Precious possessions: photo albums, educational records (diplomas, certifications), church records (blessing, baptism, ordinations, patriarchal blessings, sealings), genealogy, home inventory (list, photo, video, appraisals)
Review your insurance.
- Review your policies periodically.
- Flood insurance is not included in regular policies.
- Earthquake insurance is not included in regular policies.
- Make an inventory of precious possessions for use in the event of evacuation. Post it in a handy location, such as the back of a kitchen cabinet door.
- An inventory of your home will help in the settlement of insurance claims.
- Keep it simple. Videotape your possessions while describing what they are, where you got them, and their value. Remember the insides of closets.
- Take digital photos and store them on a CD.
- Work at it room by room, as you have time.
- Include the exterior of your home and your vehicles.
- Save receipts and model numbers, when possible.
- Get professional appraisals of jewelry, collectibles, artwork, or other items that may be difficult to evaluate.
- Update after new purchases and every five years.