Sunday, August 21, 2011

Top Documents a Woman Ought to Have...or Know Where to Find

In some ways, it's a woman's world. Women live longer than men. It's a fact. In the US, the average woman can expect to live to be 80.93 years old (compared to the average man whose life expectancy is 75.92 years). For more facts, see the World Fact Book compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency.

What this means is that women, being women, are caring for others--whether they are caring for ailing spouses, serving as court-appointed legal guardians for disabled wards, or handling the probate of estates for family members whom they have out lived. Women, due to their longevity, are also depending upon others for assistance, often relying upon caregivers during their incapacity and later, after death, to distribute their assets according to their wishes.

Smart women plan ahead, for themselves and for others. Here are the top documents a woman ought to have...or know where to find:

• Will
• Letter of instruction
• Trust documents
• Housing, land, and cemetery deeds
• Escrow mortgage accounts
• Proof of loans made
• Proof of debts owed
• Vehicle titles
• Stock certificates and savings bonds
• Brokerage accounts
• Partnership and corporate operating agreements
• Tax returns
• List of bank accounts
• List of all user names and passwords
• List of safe-deposit boxes, location, and keys
• Durable health-care power of attorney
• Authorization to release health care information (aka HIPAA release)
• Living will
• Do-not-resuscitate order (aka DNR)
• Personal and family medical history
• Life insurance policies
• Individual retirement accounts
• 401(k) accounts
• Pension documents
• Annuity contracts
• Marriage license
• Divorce papers
• Child support information/QDRO
• Discharge papers for veterans (DD Form 214 & SF-180)
• Birth Date, Place of Birth, Social Security Number

Organize the documents; safeguard them; share their location with trusted family members, so that if they become necessary, they can be found easily.


About Lisa C Smith

Attorney Lisa C. Smith believes that many legal problems can be resolved by working out agreements, legal documents, and creative solutions for businesses and families. Her goal is to provide quality legal representation with personal service and respect.

Read more at Lisa C. Smith's website.

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Call for a consultation today at 210.863.7472

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