Live prepared

How to get these key papers in order now

How to get these key papers in order now

It isn’t enough simply to sign a bunch of papers establishing an estate plan and other end-of-life instructions. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, state treasurers currently hold $32.9 billion in unclaimed bank accounts and other assets. The financial consequences of failing to keep your documents in order can be significant. Don’t leave your heirs with frustration and pain. Save them the heartache by making sure you have these 25 documents in order.

What can you do right now?

Create a comprehensive folder of documents that family members can easily find and use in case of an emergency.

Where can you keep it?

  • Store the documents with your attorney
  • Lock them away in a safe deposit box
  • Keep them at home in a fireproof safe that someone else knows the combination to

Here are the 25 most important documents you’ll need to have signed, sealed and delivered…

The essentials:

  1. Will
  2. Letter of instruction
  3. Trust documents and Social Security cards

Proof of ownership:

  1. Housing, land and cemetery deeds
  2. Escrow mortgage accounts
  3. Proof of loans made and debts owed
  4. Vehicle titles
  5. Stock certificates, savings bonds and brokerage accounts
  6. Partnership and corporate operating agreements


  1. Tax returns

Bank accounts:

  1. List of all bank accounts
  2. List of all usernames and passwords
  3. List of safe deposit boxes

Health care confidential:

  1. Personal and medical family history
  2. Durable health care power of attorney
  3. Authorization to release heath care information
  4. Living will
  5. Do-not-resuscitate order

Marriage and divorce:

  1. Marriage certificate
  2. Divorce papers

Life insurance and retirement:

  1. Life insurance policies
  2. 401(k) accounts
  3. Individual retirement accounts
  4. Pension documents
  5. Annuity contracts

Chemical Bank also offers an Organizing Financial Paperwork seminar and many other workshops across the communities we serve. For more information about this seminar or other financial programs that we offer, visit your local Chemical Bank Office or