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How To Organize Your Vital Records - The Lazy Organizer

Having all your vital information in one place will give you peace of mind knowing everything is in order. Learn how to organize your vital records TODAY. https://thelazyorganizer.com/blog/

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How To Organize Your Vital Records - The Lazy Organizer

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  1. How to organize your vital records and be prepared for anything E L I Z A B E T H H A R R I S O N | I N F O @ T H E L A Z Y O R G A N I Z E R . C O M | W W W . T H E L A Z Y O R G A N I Z E R . C O M

  2. W W W . T H E L A Z Y O R G A N I Z E R . C O M Life happens. Period. Whatever your age or stage in life, whether your assets are in the millions or in your mother's basement, most of us have spent our valuable time pursuing our dreams and ambitions. Evidence of a good life for one can include a passport with no empty spaces, for another it's a list of assets and account numbers which represent the security you've acquired for your family, still other's passions have been ignited by organizations or cottage industries for which they have worked or created. Long gone are the days when the only information we needed to know about our lives was our phone number, our social security number and our date of birth. Even those of us who have chosen to simplify life have mountains of information to track, and that task can be daunting! So what happens if you’re on the other side of the world taking a breather from your everyday life and you take your inevitable last breath? Or, you drop your passport and wallet overboard the dugout canoe you've been living in while paddling down the Amazon? Are you prepared for when, not if, an emergency occurs? Can someone step into your world and organize your affairs effortlessly? Trust me, natural disasters, sudden illness, disability, and even death, occur at the most inconvenient times. Having all your vital information and important documents in one place will give you and your family peace of mind knowing everything is in order, should an emergency occur. By taking the time to create your “Life Happens” files, you and those you trust will know what you have, where it is located and how it can be easily accessed. Enjoy preparing for when life happens! © 2016 Elizabeth Harrison I N F O @ T H E L A Z Y O R G A N I Z E R . C O M

  3. p u t t i n g i t a l l t o g e t h e r step one Schedule time to work on this project and an ideal completion date. Write this schedule in your planner and stick to it. If needed, decide to ask for help in completing this project from a family member, friend or professional organizer. Familiarize yourself with the Documents To Gather and the Paper Retention Guidelines, and determine which documents are pertinent to you and your life. Purchase a portable hanging file box with a removable lid, hanging file folders, interior folders, and two external flash drives to store your electronic files. Label the hanging files using the nine major categories listed in the Documents To Gather list. step two Using the Documents To Gather list, begin locating all documents. Place each document in a labeled interior folder and place in the appropriate hanging file (example: place your car insurance policy in a folder labeled Auto Policy and place in the hanging folder labeled My Insurance.) Request missing documents from appropriate state, government agencies and companies. Using the Paper Retention Guidelines, purge/shred any papers that you no longer need to keep as you go along. step three If there are vital documents that need to be created like your Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, etc., plan to have these completed by a professional as soon as possible. Transfer all electronic copies onto both flash drives. Keep one in a safe place, give the second one to your attorney, trusted family member or friend. Review and update all of your information annually. © 2016 Elizabeth Harrison I N F O @ T H E L A Z Y O R G A N I Z E R . C O M

  4. d o c u m e n t s t o g a t h e r My Personal Information Birth certificate Social security card Licenses / Permits Passport Marriage certificate Prenuptial agreement Divorce decree Citizenship / naturalization papers Resumes Military discharge College transcripts Credit reports Adoption information My Assets Property deed Vehicle titles Insurance Survey map Rental or lease agreements Bills of sale Registrations Inventory of valuables Patents Trademarks Copyrights Inventory of collections Inventory of art Inventory of livestock Inventory of hidden Items Inventory of electronics My Money Bank statements Mutual funds Social Security Retirement accounts Pension plans 401K Keogh / SEP Treasury bills Stocks / bonds Personal loans due to me Business loans due to me  My Safety Net List of Passwords and Logins Loyalty programs ID and password numbers Safe deposit box and safe information Data backup Information  © 2016 Elizabeth Harrison I N F O @ T H E L A Z Y O R G A N I Z E R . C O M

  5. d o c u m e n t s t o g a t h e r My Debts/Payments Personal loans Cars & other vehicles Home equity lines of credit Mortgage Business loans Student loans Equipment loans Credit cards Alimony Child support payments  Rent Utilities Property insurance Vehicle insurance School taxes Property taxes Income taxes Memberships Insurance Physician Dentist Safe deposit box rental Education payments Storage unit rental Subscriptions My Insurance Health Vehicle Life Homeowners/renters policies My Medical Policies ID cards Directory of providers Doctor(s) contact information Dentist contact information My Team Phone numbers, address and contact information for everyone on list My Wants Prepaid funeral arrangements Will, including name and address of attorney who prepared and holds document Durable power of attorney Health care proxy or living will Funeral and burial arrangements Letter of instructions for loved ones Obituary notes © 2016 Elizabeth Harrison I N F O @ T H E L A Z Y O R G A N I Z E R . C O M

  6. p a p e r r e t e n t i o n g u i d e l i n e s Be sure to consult your accountant, attorney, financial advisor and/or insurance agent as to the length of time to keep papers that specifically pertain to you and your family. The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event which the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income, deduction or credit shown on your tax return until the period of limitations for that tax return runs out. What to keep for 1 month ATM and bank­deposit slips Credit card receipts Utility bills Receipts for minor purchases, after you've satisfactorily used the item, it has no warranty, and is not deductible. Keep Indefinitely Home improvement records ­save until you sell your house Manuals,warranties and receipts for Major purchases­ as long as you own the item Investment purchase records Bonds Annual tax returns What to keep for 1 year Bank statements Paycheck stubs Credit card receipts ­ unless needed for tax purposes and then you need to keep them for 3 years Quarterly investment statements Monthly mortgage statements Keep Forever Marriage licenses Marital agreements Divorce decrees Birth certificates Wills Adoption papers Death certificates Records of paid mortgages Family historical information Financial year end summaries Military service records Civil service records Social Security audits Patent and trademark certificates What to keep for 7 years W­2 and 1099 forms Year­end investment statements Any business expenses that you claim Annual mortgage, property tax or any tax­ deductible expenses Tax return supporting documentation References: IRS Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records © 2016 Elizabeth Harrison I N F O @ T H E L A Z Y O R G A N I Z E R . C O M

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