Oftentimes, family members feel they are ill-equipped to assist an aging relative in the time of need. One reason for feeling ill-equipped is because the family member lacks sufficient information and knowledge about the relative’s personal and financial affairs. Having access to such information will provide the family member with the means to help resolve or diffuse a crisis, should one occur.
Therefore, we can be a big help to our loved ones by organizing and gathering our important documents, such as personal, financial, and medical information so it is readily accessible. Some of the information and documents that should be collected and organize include:
• Birth certificate;
• Marriage certificate, if applicable;
• Divorce decree, if applicable;
• Death certificate of spouse; if applicable;
• Military record;
• Social Security number;
• Health insurance information;
• Location of Will, Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Directive;
• Trust documents, if applicable;
• Income information, including social security or pension;
• Bank account information;
• Safe deposit box locations, if applicable;
• Life insurance information, including policy number;
• Names and addresses of doctors;
• Mortgage documents;
• Investment account information;
• Retirement or IRA information;
• Credit card information;
• Most recent income tax return;
• Automobile information such as title, insurance and loan information;
• Contact information for family and friends.
As these documents are gathered, it is a good idea to review the documents to ensure they are up to date. Moreover, it is advisable to review these documents every three to five years, again, to ensure they are up to date. It is recommended that once the documents are organized that our loved ones are told where they can readily find them.
The law firm of Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle and Sacks, through their Elder Law team of Annemarie Schreiber and Joseph La Costa, has taken the stress out of putting this information and documentation together. They have outlined the necessary information in an easy to fill out “Financial Journal” to keep in a secure place along with your other important documents. A downloadable Financial Journal is available online at www.cldds.com/financialjournal/, if you do not have access to the internet, please call our office and will happily mail one to you.
To schedule a consultation or for more information about how we can help you and your family… Call Annemarie Schreiber at 732-797-1600.If you are unable to make it into the office, we are willing to visit you in your home, hospital, assisted living facility, or nursing home.
Written by Annemarie Schreiber, Esq., CELA