Broker Check

Important Documents

June 03, 2019

One helpful piece of advice for any individual or family is to have a convenient place to store important documents.  I have clients in there 70's and 80's that have binders or folders that are several inches thick that contain nearly all of their important documents and statements.  While it is not necessary to save every last statement you receive, try to retain the most recent ones if possible.  It is important for your loved ones to be able to locate any documents, policies, and statements you may have accumulated during life. Also include any sort of contact information for the various professionals that may have worked with you along the way.  By placing these documents into a folder or 3 ring binder, you will save the family time and stress in the event something happens to you.  It is not uncommon for a family to search a house or office, from top to bottom, trying to figure out who they need to notify in the event of death.  Always have these documents stored in a safe place that members of your family are aware of.  A fire proof safe or even a safety deposit box at the bank will hopefully keep these documents safe in an emergency.   

The documents you would want to include in this file would include any sort of retirement or investment accounts.  Insurance policies, this would include life insurance as well as additional insurance such as accident, disability, Long term care, etc.  Make sure wills, powers of attorney, medical directives, trust documents, and anything else that might express your desires and wishes in the event of emergency or death.  Include other financial documents that may provide incite into any debts that may be owed such as credit cards, loans, mortgages or any other document that you feel your family should be aware of.  The more information you are able to provide for your family, and the instructions you provide them, can help them navigate the difficult events that can arise through out life. 

It is never a comfortable conversation discussing mortality with clients and their families.  Having these discussions and providing a road map can make the situation more manageable.  This collection of documents will hopefully make it easier to navigate such an emotional and challenging situation. It will be important to gather these document in one place and make sure they are safe from any sort of hazards.