Many just think of storing their jewellery and property documents in a bank locker. Those are not really the only essentials crucial to your life. In fact, they are only the preliminary items you are really worrying about. Here are the documents you need in case of an emergency. Think of it like a backup plan when your life comes to a surprising halt…
Disaster is not just a hurricane or an earthquake. It can be the death of the breadwinner in your family. And if that happens, god forbid, where are all the documents you need for a smoother transition? So how do you prepare for any eventuality and what documents do you definitely need to have at a short notice? Call it your disaster prep kit, if you will, but this is something that your dependents should always have at hand in case something happens to you, particularly if you are the only breadwinner they have.
By this, we mean everything that your family can be identified with. Here is a rundown of things you should have; photo copies and originals are better, because sometimes just photo copies might not do to authenticate your identity. Here goes the list, in no particular order as everything is as important. Some might not apply to you, but we decided to list them all, in case we missed anything…
Marriage certificate/divorce settlement papers
Recent photographs of all your family members and pets
Child and pet adoption papers
Pet microchip numbers
Social media login IDs and passwords
Insurance papers: This is crucial because you need all the insurance policies you have, from family to personal, medical to automobiles, and so on. Without these, you will not be able to claim anything.
Income tax statements: Your tax filings of the last three years at least, so you can prove that you are a citizen and have an income that will fetch you loans in case you need it after a disaster.
Bank info: Keep photo copies of bank statements, contact information and account numbers. This should include the information on all the loans, mortgages and utility bills that you are paying on a regular basis.
When nothing works, only the law can come to your aid. However, the law is blind and can only work if you have physical proof of your identity and what you own. Which is why, these things are crucial. You will have to write a ‘will’ that allows you to ensure that your property is handed over to the rightful heirs. Similarly, create a ‘living will’ that will name the person who will take the medical decisions on your behalf in case of a sudden mishap or sickness. Similarly, it will also detail whether you want to undergo euthanasia and other medical procedures if it comes to that. That’s not all. Read on…
Legal paraphernalia: Similarly, make sure you have original documents relating to the businesses, NGOs and properties you own. From cars and site titles to home deeds and rental/lease agreements.
Many people forget this, but the immunisation and other medical records of your kids are crucial in their growing up years. Similarly, if anyone in your family has a particular allergy to certain food items or medicines, it’s important that you make a record of it in addition to details on blood group, hereditary illnesses, past surgeries, current daily medications, and so on, pets included. Don’t forget to keep the important X-rays, MRI scans, and doctor’s prescriptions for an ailment or condition you were treated earlier or are being currently treated for.
Where and how do you store this? Well, for one, you can keep hard copies in a waterproof and fireproof safe at home or in a bank locker. You can store electronic copies in the cloud on SecureLifeVault that promises bank-level encryption. Our advice? Always keep all of these important documents in multiple locations, so you have backups somewhere that you can get your hands on.