It's that time of year when I look around my abode and that feeling just washes over me. The feeling that I must go through everything, get organized, redo those drawers and closets, really scrub the corners of the baseboards...yes, friends, I have Spring Cleaning-itis.
We will break it down more next week (so be sure to check back), but today, I'm tackling the not-so-fun part of Spring Cleaning - that area of the closet or office that has all of my family's vital papers. You know, the old tax stuff, social security info, and the like...going through it always reminds me of certain documents we all need to have (and know where they are). What does everyone need? Here's the main list:
A Will - We've chatted about this before, but it's good to go over it again. Even if you don't have many assets, you need to have a will. It goes over where you want anything you do have to go and, most importantly, dictates the future care of your children.
A Living Will and Financial Durable Power of Attorney - These are BFFs in the document world as they spell out what you want to have happen to you and who should make decisions your behalf about your medical care, your possessions, finances and care of your children if you can't communicate for some reason.
Kids Protection Plan - This is a tad different than the living will and power of attorney in that it outlines what happens to your kids in the short term, in the hours immediately after some crisis or event, before those you have set as long-term legal guardians can get to them. It is a good idea for those that live away from family.
Passports and other minor documents - Everyone in your family, even younger kids should have a current and up-to-date passport. Other good documents to have around and have notarized copies of: birth certificates and marriage licenses. As far as non-legal documents, a list of everyone's health info (blood type, past operations, any allergies) is a good and handy thing to have.
Do you have all of these documents? Are they up-to-date?