Finances and Legalities

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Finances: In this context, finances covers everything from your bank account to insurance policies to legal documents covering powers of attorney, wills and such. It can be easy, once this is understood, to see how finances affect many other areas. Toward this end, there is a whole section of the workbook that will help you think through whether, where, and for whom you have the documents and information in place.

Here's some idea/activities to get you looking at your financial ideas, needs and plans:

- How do you make decisions regarding money? From your head or heart? It's good to kow, and there's no one answer that's best.

- Be sure to include documents on who you'd llike to raise your kids, if appropriate, and on end of life issues.

- Help keep this part of your Personal Safety Net organized by gathering and placing these in a place where you, and those you want to have the information, will be able to access it.


  • Banking
    • Where is my bank? Is there more than one?
    • Is there a particular person who knows me?
    • Is there a local branch?
    • What are the account numbers
    • Copies of Checking statements (past & present)
    • Copies of Saving or money market statements
    • Copies of Brokerage and/or investment account information
    • College savings information (509 Plan)
    • Copies of Credit union accounts statements
    • Copies of Credit card statements
    • Safe deposit boxes & keys
    • Loans & Promissory notes outstanding (debts owed)
  • Investments –
    • What and where are they?
    • Is there anyone to contact?
  • Copy of your current bills
  • Appraisal or inventory of valuable items
  • Charitable donation preferences
  • Mortgage documents
  • Prior years' tax returns
  • Property and school tax records
  • Safe & combination
  • Social Security Card
  • Veteran's administration paperwork


  • Insurance Representative(s) –
    • CPA/Accountant
    • Business liability/consultation
    • Casualty
    • Disability
    • Flood/earthquake
    • Health
    • Life
    • Property/Home/Mortgage
    • Travel
  •  Document(s)/Paperwork/Policies  & Numbers –
    • Business liability/consultation
    • Casualty
    • Disability insurance
    • Flood/earthquake
    • Health
    • Life
    • Property/Home/Mortgage
      • Or rent?
      • Do I hold a mortgage for another/other property?
    • Travel 
  • In-home assisted living insurance paperwork 


  • Birth/death certificates
  • Passport(s)
  • Info on Who holds Power of Attorney
    • Back-up person
  • Last Will & Testament
  • Letter of instruction to executor re: the commemoration of your life/funeral
  • Cemetery plot deed
  • Burial/Funeral instructions
    • Burial and funeral wishes - Wishes related to organ donation should be clear. If you wish to donate, clarify if it's also OK for heirs or hospitals to sell organs.