There are documents to keep safe and documents that we need to get rid of. Widows know all about paper work, and now that we are on our own we need to get our documents in order. The pack rat in us wants to hold on to gift receipts, old instruction manuals, past policies etc. Living in the midst of clutter increases your stress and anxiety. Taking the time to organize your papers will definitely remove negative energy.
Here are a few tips to lessen our paper work and make life easier for us.
Personal records that are a must to keep safe:
- Updated Will
- Living Will and/or Proxy
- Power of Attorney
- Life Insurance Policy
- Social Security Card
- Copy of Driver’s license
- Medicare/ Health card
- Medical history records
- List of current medicines
- Investment papers
- Prepaid Funeral papers
- Some emergency cash
- House/Vechile Insurance
- Diplomas and education records
- Wedding and/or divorce papers
- Birth certificate – Baptismal record
- Real estate deeds/mortgage papers
- Printed list of important phone numbers/address
Keep important documents all in one, safe place. Tax returns should be kept for seven years and always shred older returns. If you can request old bank statements from your bank, then you may decide to purge your copies after a couple of months or go paperless.
Check your credit card statements to verify all charges and payments made. Keep if needed for tax deductible expenses, otherwise shed them. Protect your data by reviewing it for suspicious activities. Use one of the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and Trans-union. You could also use a company that will monitor your accounts for a minimal fee.
Get in the habit of tossing or shedding papers that have a limited time use such as flyers, old newspapers, magazines etc. Remove your name and address from mailing lists and cancel subscriptions that you can read online or at the library for free. If you do want to hang on to a document, consider scanning it and keeping it electronically stored.
Keep an “emergency” bag with copies of important paperwork that can be quickly grabbed if you have to leave fast.
Mary Francis, The Sisterhood of Widows