Ensure loved ones can find your important information in case of an emergency.
No one likes to think about it, but if something happened to you, would someone else be able to find your important documents? If you’re injured – or worse – you’ll want a family member or an executor to be able to locate your financial and personal information, such as estate paperwork or health information, quickly and with the least amount of hassle possible.
Being prepared can help avoid potential delays or confusion during stressful times. Having important paperwork in order simplifies things for your loved ones or your executor, and can help ensure that nothing gets overlooked.
The best part is that it doesn’t take much work to organize your documents. Simply creating special binders or folders and keeping it in a safe place will do the trick. You just have to make sure you tell your loved ones or your executor where they can find it.
Here’s a list of information you might want to include.
Personal information (each member of your household)
- Full legal name and birth date
- Health card number
- Driver’s licence and passport numbers
- Blood type
- Health care provider contact information
- Other important contacts (daycare, school, specialist, in case of emergency, etc.)
- Powers of attorney (including directions on how to manage your financial, health care and end of life decisions)
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce certificate
- Lines of credit
- Credit cards
- Safety deposit box number and key
Investment account information
- Non-registered accounts
- Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs)
- Registered retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)
- Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs)
- Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs)
- Pension accounts
Insurance policy contracts
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Long-term care insurance
- Health and dental insurance
- Home and auto insurance
- Notices of assessment for recent tax years
- Business documents if you own or co-own a business
- Real estate deeds
- List of jewellery, art, collectibles and other valuables
- List of digital assets (social media accounts, data or digital files, websites, subscriptions, etc.) *consider providing passwords to a trusted individual and/or executor
- Executor / Power of Attorney
Storing your documents
Once you’ve organized your information, you’ll want to keep it in a safe place. Consider the following:
- Safety deposit box (accessible by a joint owner or executor)
- Filing cabinet
- Home safe
Need some help getting started? Check out this handy worksheet.