Last updated: March 25, 2013
Adult children of aging parents are often caught without the
essential documents their parents need in an emergency
Knowing where the official records are located as well as having
copies of these important financial, legal, and health documents
can save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of time spent
tracking down records.
Photocopy Essential Documents
- Copy of Birth Certificate
- Copy of Driver's License
- Copy of Social Security Card
- Copy of Medicare / Medicaid / Insurance Coverage Card
- Copy of Organ Donor Card
- Copy of Marriage Certificate
- Copy of Credit Cards
- Copy of Mortgage Records
- Copy of Military Records
- Copy of Legal Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy, Living Will,
Create a List of Where to Find Original Documents
- Location of safe-deposit box and key with a list of the
contents and names of anyone who has access to it.
- Location of any letter of instruction listing personal property
not disposed of by will and wishes for distribution.
- Location of receipts and appraisals for valuables.
- Location of trust, banking, insurance policies.
- Location of stocks, bonds, real estate, and other
- Location of living will, medical directive, or durable power of
- Location of personal loans owed with substantiating
- Location of birth certificate, social security card, marriage
and divorce certificates, education and military records.
- Location of tax returns and gift or estate tax returns filed
during the period.
Create a List of Important Contacts and Accounts
- Details of desired funeral arrangements; location of burial
plot, if any, and deed to it. Name and address of clergy, if
- Name, addresses, and telephone numbers of attorney, financial
planner, tax advisor, broker, and/or anyone else with knowledge of
or control over trusts, wills and finances.
- Complete list of beneficiaries with current addresses and
- List of bank accounts, including name, address, and telephone
number of each financial institution, account numbers, location of
passbooks, checkbooks, certificates of deposits.
- List insurance information including health, life, auto,
homeowner and renter policies; any employee benefit or pension
plans. Name, address and telephone number of each insurance company
and agent, policy numbers, and locations.
- List of active credit accounts such as mortgage, banks, oil
companies, department stores, including name and address of each
company, account number, and type.