As a senior citizen, you want to make sure that you keep all your important documents on hand. Having these documents where you know where they are at all times is imperative for your health and your well-being. There are several important documents that you will need to have with you in a secure location.
When you go to the doctor’s, you will have to show some of these documents. When you apply for disability or any other government benefits, you will also have to have certain documents with you. Having these documents organized and ready is a great way to save time, and helps to make sure that everything you have is in order. Getting these important documents together, and having them in a central location can help you to stay organized as you age.
Will and Estate Documents
While you might not want to think about passing, it is inevitable eventually. Having your will and estate plans among your important documents will help to ensure that your loved ones do not have any issues after you pass. People that pass without a will can leave behind a mess for their loved ones. With no will, the state can decide who gets your belongings including your property. Not having a will can also cause fighting among your family. They end up in a lengthy legal battle trying to figure out who should get what. It is imperative that you lay out exactly what you want in your will and estate plans.
Durable Power of Attorney Documents
There will come a time where you may not be able to make decisions for yourself. You may want to have a family member, lawyer or close friend become your durable power of attorney. In order for them to receive the durable power of attorney, they must show this documentation whenever it is required. If you end up going to the hospital, and you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself, and you need to go through something like surgery, your durable power of attorney will be able to put forth your wishes.
However, if they do not have these important documents, the hospital will not allow them to make decisions for you. Also, if you do not have a clearly laid out power of attorney, there may be issues with your family. One person may think that they know your wishes better than the other person and want their wishes are followed. To avoid this it is always good to choose a durable power of attorney and have documentation to back this up. It is a good idea to keep this documentation where you know where it is located to ensure that you do not have any issues in the future.
Living Will Documentation
You will want to keep your advance medical directive or living will documentation. This will make sure that all of your medical decisions are made in accordance with your wishes. If you do not have these important documents with you, this will lead to your wishes not being followed. It is important to have this documentation on file with your doctor’s office, as well as your local hospital. It is also imperative that you have a copy of this documentation with you.
Asset and Benefit Documentation
Having a copy of your assets and benefits documentation will allow you to keep up with your finances. As you age, you might not be on top of everything as we should be, and having this documentation will show us exactly what we have. This documentation should include all of your savings accounts, bank accounts, assets like vehicles and property, and cities. This can also help when you apply for government assistance including Social Security.
Government Benefit Documentation
If you receive government benefits, you want to keep documentation of this. This includes any government assistance programs, private pension, benefit plans, life insurance, and health insurance. This will allow you to keep up with this and review if needed.
Other Important Documentation
It is also important to keep their following important documentation. Your birth certificate, your Social Security card, military discharge papers, medical alerts, names and addresses of your physicians, immunization records, medical records that include a list of allergies, deeds or titles of valuable property, and vehicle records.