What to Organize

The following is a list of important documents that you should have organized and kept together in a safe place. These documents are important to have not only for estate planning but also in times where you may need them such as incapacitation or death, moving, or even in catastrophic events such as a fire, flood, or other natural disaster. It does take time and patience but if you ever need the information, it is right there at your fingertips!

□ Will

□ Letter of Instruction

□ Birth/Baptismal Certificates

□ School Transcripts/Diploma/Schooling Certificates

□ Marriage Certificates

□ Citizenship Papers

□ Divorce/Separation Papers

□ Adoption Papers

□ Social Security Numbers/Cards

□ Passports (numbers & expiration dates)

□ Driver’s Licenses (number & expiration dates)/ State ID

□ Military Records

□ Names/address/telephone numbers of Healthcare Professionals

□ Healthcare proxies/living wills

□ Medications (dosages, name of prescribing physicians, pharmacy, address/telephone)

□ Past Medical History, Surgeries & Allergies

□ Address & Phone Numbers of Hospitals of Choice

□ Medicare Numbers

□ Medicaid Numbers

□ Insurance (medical, life, long-term, vehicle)

□ Social Worker or Caseworker Names & Contact Information

□ Passwords, Web sites, & Other Digital information

□ Income Sources (retirement and/or disability benefits, Social Security, etc.)

□ Financial Assets (institution names, account numbers, address/telephone, form of ownership, current value of cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money market funds, retirement and pension plans, IRAs, annuities, life insurance)

□ Real Estate (property addresses, location of deeds, form of ownership, current value)

□ Other Assets (location of items/titles/documents/form of ownership, current value including automobiles, boats, inheritances, precious gems, collectibles, household items, hidden valuables/items in storage, loans to family members/friends)

□ Liabilities (creditor institutions, address/telephone, approximate debt of mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, notes, IOUs, other)

□ Trust Documents

□ Special Needs Documents for Disabled Children

©Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. 35 Arnold Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, 336 South Street, Hyannis MA 02601 and 45 Bristol Drive, Easton MA 02375.  This article is for illustration purposes only.  This handout does not constitute legal advice.  There is no attorney/client relationship created with Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. by this article.  DO NOT make decisions based upon information in this handout.  Every family is unique and legal advice can only be given after an individual consultation with an elder law attorney.  Any decisions made without proper legal advice may cause significant legal and financial problems