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Important Documents - Collect Them Before You Need Them!


If an family member is hospitalized or transferred to an assisted-living facility you may be the person charged with rounding up their legal and financial documents.  You may want to begin gathering the documents listed below now and periodically update them.  Use the filing system that works best for you.  File folders or notebooks both work well.  Not all items listed below will apply to you and your family members.   You may think of additional items to add to the list.  As an added bonus, you may learn interesting facts about your family members!

Personal and Family Information

●Birth Certificates for all family members

●Marriage Certificate

●Citizenship papers

●Divorce/Separation papers

●Adoption papers

●Social Security Numbers and cards

●Passport [numbers and expiration dates]

●Driver’s Licenses

[numbers and expiration dates]

●Military records, discharge papers


[For each policy list the company name, policy number and location]

●Life Insurance policies

●Health Insurance

●Medigap supplemental health

●Long-Term Care







Date of documents, Agent’s Guardian’s Executor’s and Trustees’ Names, Addresses and Telephone Numbers and the location in which documents are stored:


●Trust agreements

●General Durable Financial Powers of Attorney


●Advance Medical Directive, see above

Other Information

●Inventory of family historical records [documents, photos, keepsakes]

●Burial instructions [funeral home location, whether funeral is prepaid, cemetery plot location and other funeral service details]

●Favorite photo for newspaper announcement

●Safe deposit box information

[name of institution, address, phone, location of keys, list of box contents, other names on the safe deposit box]

●Tax records


Names, Addresses and Telephone Numbers

for all listed below:

●Health care professionals





●Hospital of Choice


[name of drugs, dosages, purpose, name of physician, pharmacy]

●Medicare numbers

●Medicaid numbers

[caseworker numbers, address/telephone]

●Advance Medical Directive

●Organ donor instructions

Other Important Contacts

●Professional advisors other than healthcare [name, address and phone number]


●Insurance Agents

●Financial Advisors





●Past Employers

[name of company, address, phone number, date of retirement, employee ID number and contact persons]

●Close friends and neighbors,

[name, address and phone number —   Indicate those who may have keys to the house/apartment or condominium]

●Service providers - utilities, etc.

●Club memberships, volunteer activities [name of group, address and phone number]

●Landlord [name, address and phone number]

●Schools and college attended

[ name, address and phone number]


●Income sources, [retirement and or disability benefits, social security benefits]


Financial assets


●Money market funds

●Bank accounts

●Retirement and pension plans





●Mutual funds

●Life insurance


Real estate

[property addresses, location of deeds, form of ownership, insurance, current value]

●Primary home, deed

●Investment property

●Vacation home


Other Assets

[location of items/titles/documents, forms of ownership, insurance and current value]

●Automobiles, car title



●Interests in businesses

●Hidden valuables/items in storage

●Precious gems, jewelry

●Loans to family members/friends



[creditors, institutions, address/telephone, amount of debt]



●Personal Loans

●Student Loans

●Credit cards

●Other loans

●Anticipated inheritances

For a comprehensive list of documents to gather, see the Maryland Department Of Aging website at:


Or contact Children of Aging Parents at


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