An Important List of Items
As you probably know, we are a firm not just focused on investment management, but we believe strongly in developing financial planning strategies for those we work with. This includes working with families on how best to organize assets and develop plans as inevitable transitions occur. Planning is important and it is why we have 15+ Certified Financial Planners here working at DWM (and the number is growing). We have a dedicated planning department and it is an important daily focus.
I recently spoke with someone who had just been through a difficult experience losing a loved one. They mentioned how important it was that they had carefully planned ahead and made sure documents were in a central location. The list that they used was provided by a medical facility and is a pretty good summation of the types of documents that you should have stored away in a safe place.
When difficult circumstances arise, the last thing one needs is to be faced with is the confusion of trying to find documents and organize financial affairs. I think this list might be helpful to you. It’s a big project but a worthy goal to gather these items sometime in 2020.
Here’s the list.
- Will; name, address, and telephone number of your attorney
- Insurance policies: life, property, and auto insurance; name, address, and telephone numbers of your insurance agent/adviser
- Real estate deeds, title policies, closing statements, mortgages, records of mortgage payments, tax receipts, receipts for property improvements over the years, leases
- Stock certificates and bonds with purchase. receipts, or other information pertaining to the cost and date(s) of purchase; name, address, and telephone number of your brokerage firm and broker
- Bank account numbers and respective bank addresses, telephone numbers and name of bank officer, if applicable. Savings account books should be included.
- List of all assets and their locations; this includes outstanding personal loans and accounts receivable
- Safe deposit key with the name, address, and telephone number of the respective bank, as well as the box number
- State and Federal income tax returns for the last three years or more; name, address, and telephone number of the tax form preparer
- Birth certificates for you, your spouse, and your dependents
- Marriage certificates or proof of divorce, as appropriate
- Automobile ownership certificate and registration receipts
- Social Security card or record of Social Security number
- Military discharge certificate or papers
- Any contract to which you are a party, including installment purchase
- All charge account numbers and respective charge account plates
- Any business records
- Receipts, appraisals or valuation estimates of personal belongings such as art, jewelry, furs, furniture, silver, or antiques
- List of close relatives, significant others, and personal friends; include names, addresses, and telephone numbers
- Funeral or memorial service instructions; include funeral director or memorial society name, address, and telephone number
- General instructions to surviving spouse and/or children; include a list of advisors with names, addresses, and telephone numbers
I know it’s a lot. Still, it’s an important project and worth the time and effort.
If you have any questions about this information, please let us know. As a firm focused on financial planning, were happy to help in any way.