Studies show that only one in four individuals can correctly say exactly where their insurance policies, bank account and safety deposit box information, and investment statements are located. Fewer can correctly, and quickly, put their hands on personal data such as wills, powers of attorney, home, auto and health insurance policies, passport numbers, and health records. Even fewer are 100% confident that, in an emergency, a trusted family member could locate (and correctly interpret) their computer passwords!
December is always a busy time of year – holiday festivities and searching for those perfect gifts for friends and family make it hard to think about getting much else. However, putting your financial records in order is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for those you love. Let’s use a few of these cold winter days to gather together records and create a reliable filing system to organize the information in one place so that family members can easily locate them in an emergency.
Information should be stored in a safe place such as a secured folder on your computer, a safety-deposit box, or in a locked fireproof box. And be sure to tell key family members or friends, or your lawyer or professional money manager, where this information is stored so they can find it easily and quickly.
It’s so easy not to think about it now, but taking a few minutes to organize important documents can be such a relief, especially when the unexpected happens. Not only does it make our lives easier, but it can make a world of difference to a loved one who has to locate this information – and isn’t that a perfect gift for this time of year?