Thursday, September 9, 2010

Be Prepared If Disaster Strikes

Are you ready if disaster strikes?

Friends of mine recently lost almost everything they owned in a house fire. Although they were covered by insurance and will have the house rebuilt, they are spending endless hours documenting losses and replacing lost records. With the recent hurricane warnings, wild fires and floods it is good to have your Financial House In Order.

How can you be prepared?
  • Keep a list of important documents and their location.
  • Keep copies of documents and back up electronic files.
  • Keep a list of important contacts and phone numbers
  • Videotape your home to document contents
What documents are important?
  • Estate Planning Documents: Wills, Trusts, Advance Healthcare Directives or Living Will, Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Power of Attorney for Property, DNRs, etc.
  • Insurance Documents: Life Insurance Policies, Accident and Health Insurance Policies, Auto and Property Insurance Policies, etc.
  • Financial Documentation: Tax Returns and supporting documentation, Loan Documents including mortgages, education loans and any other personal loans, Real Estate Deeds, Titles, Investments including Retirement Accounts, Pensions, Savings Bonds, Bank Accounts, Stock Certificates, Brokerage Accounts, Mutual Funds, Stock Options, etc.
  • Other Important Documents: Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Social Security Cards, Divorce Decrees, Death Certificates, Military Discharge Papers, Passports, Family Records, Medical Records, Safe Deposit Box info, etc.
What contacts are important?
  • Family members and friends, Medical - Doctors and Dentists, Financial Advisor, Tax Preparer, Insurance Companies/Agents, Attorneys, Executors

Other Resources to be prepared for disaster:

IRS: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=180547,00.html?portlet=7
FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/pfd.pdf
Harvard Health: http://www.health.harvard.edu/downloads/preparing_for_disaster.pdf
Ready America: http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/




1 comment:

  1. I am in the process of hiring a financial planning advisor. The financial planner provided me with several references. What are the best questions to ask these references to help me make the most educated decision about selecting a financial planner?

    financial planning advisor

    ReplyDelete