Now, as adults, we gather more papers, more numbers to remember, more people needing information from us. Life doesn’t stay simple, does it?
Homemaking and caregiving isn’t just meeting physical needs.
We might help loved ones (and ourselves) avoid heartache as family circumstances change. It is easy to get so busy with the daily grind that we overlook critical details. A little time and attention now will save stress and often dollars in the end.
Misplaced documents can prove costly.
When a loved one passes away, if insurance policies and other records are stuck in a box or drawer “somewhere”, they will be overlooked when needed most.
Millions of dollars go unclaimed due to neglect.
The New York Times recently reported hundreds of millions of unclaimed dollars every year. Most belong to beneficiaries who did not realize policies existed when a loved one died.
You will benefit with these tips and a little time.
While this may seem overwhelming right now, scheduling just thirty minutes a day will make it a doable project for you with rewards in abundance.
#1 Organize — begin today!
Simply begin by putting all your important files in one place. Start with a small filing box (or large one for me.) An empty drawer will help get everything in one place in the beginning; then you can work more efficiently—and faster!
#2 Determine a permanent storage place.
A small waterproof, fireproof safe is large enough for most households. You may feel more secure getting a safe deposit box at your bank. Be sure someone can access it later if you are not able to do so. In addition to original documents, include a list of all policies, account numbers, birth and marriage certificates, and any important financial information.
#3 Evaluate each item.
For instance, in working on your home insurance policies, is your latest copy up-to-date? Is it adequate? Do you need to make changes? Do you have birth certificates for each member of your household? Are account numbers for credit/debit cards in this file? Include the phone numbers to call if lost or stolen.
#4 Who will need access to this information?
Your spouse? Your children? Attorney? Will they know where to find the information if needed? Be careful as you choose a trusted family member or friend for this important responsibility.
#5 Keep all items up-to-date.
Set a definite time each year to review this file and up-date any policies or records. Make sure any legal paperwork is correct; contact an attorney if you have any questions about the legality of any documents, especially those having to do with healthcare, mortgages, etc.
#6 This will prove time well spent.
Yes, I know! This will take time—maybe a lot of time you feel you do not have. However, the time and frustration you will be saving yourself and others when these things are needed will be worth it.
Trust me on this one. I’ve been there!
Click on this website to learn more about unclaimed property: http://unclaimed-property-finder.com/ Be sure to read the “About Us” section first to find your state and more details. Hope you find this helpful; let me hear what you are doing to keep important documents organized.