Does This File Cabinet Look Familiar?
Vital documents are those things you never think about until you need them. Which is the moment you realize that you have NO IDEA where they are!
Getting your vital documents in order is SUCH an easy fix! As you’ll see in a few minutes, it’s much less work than you think. That is, if you’re up for it…
The first thing you’ll need to do is to figure out which documents you’re going to need. Here’s an easy way to do it.
1. If you have to evacuate your home because of a fire, tornado or other emergency, who would be evacuating with you? Grab a pencil and paper and jot down the types of vital documents that you and each person possess.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
ID: Driver’s license/State ID, company or school ID, Medicare/Medicaid cards.
Social security cards, social security/retirement or other benefit determination documents. Birth, marriage or divorce certificates.
School enrollment records, immunization, transcripts and contact information for schools
Keys and information on any safe deposit boxes.
Proof of insurance and ownership for your vehicles and other property.
Deeds, mortgage and contact information for your mortgage company and payment information.
If you are a landlord, contact information for all of your tenants, copies of their leases and applications and their payment information. If you rent, your lease, contact information for your landlord and the address of where you send your rent.
We’ll deal with insurance and financial information in more detail in future blog posts. But if you happen to have any of that information handy, feel free to input it into the form you’re about to download and complete.
2. Using the list you just compiled, locate and gather all of those documents.
3. Download the Vital Information Form or if you have a copy of our book The Backup Plan 3.0, you’ll find the form in the back of your book. Now complete the form using the information you have found.
Be sure to include information for any of the documentation that has numbers, passwords or contact information associated with them. For example, your passport number, the contact information for your landlord, the key location or password for your safe deposit box. If necessary, just add additional lines or write in extra information below the entry or in the margin. Then save the form or print it and put it to the side.
4. Print, scan or make three copies of the form you just completed, along with the documents or other materials you that you located. Place the originals in a secure location, like your home safe or your bank’s safe deposit box. Then place the copies in at least two other secure, damage-proof locations, like the safe deposit box in your evacuation location, or if they’re scanned, on the portable hard drive you’ll be using to back up your data. That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.
For more information on gathering and preserving your vital documents, go to our blog post How To Keep Your Vital Documents Safe.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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