Suggestions for your Documentation Binder


Emergency Information

  • Family Evacuation/Communication Plans
  • A list of emergency contacts that includes doctors, financial advisors, clergy, reputable repair contractors, and family members who live outside your area.
  • Emergency notification list of family and friends to call in case of death or serious illness. This could also be useful for weddings.

Personal Information

  • Full name, birth date, birthplace, address, and social security number for each family member.
  • Certified copies of Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Driver’s licenses, Social Security Cards, Passports.
  • A list of organizations to which each person belongs.
  • Summary of military service information and where corresponding documents are kept.

Financial Information

  • Sources of income, lists of assets and liabilities including stocks and bonds.
  • A list of bank, savings, and credit card accounts, with corresponding account numbers.
  • All real estate holdings, along with the names of mortgage lenders and loan account numbers.
  • Copies of deeds, titles, relevant employee benefits documents, the first two pages of the previous years Federal and State income tax returns, etc. (note: Originals should be kept in a safe deposit box or at another location).
  • Location of safe deposit boxes and a record of their contents.
  • Trust Documents.
  • Backups of computerized financial records.
  • A list of bank account, loan, credit card, investment account (brokerage and mutual funds).

Insurance Information

  • Copies of your auto, flood, renter’s or homeowners insurance policies or at least policy numbers, a brief summary of provisions and the insurance company phone numbers.
  • Pictures of home, furnishings, cars, recreational vehicles, etc.
  • Inventory of household goods.
  • Lists of serial numbers, VIN numbers, license plate numbers, copies of receipts for expensive items.

Medical Information

  • A list of doctors and their phone numbers.
  • A summary of family members’ known allergies, illnesses, surgeries, hospitalization’s etc.
  • Copies of important prescriptions for medicines and eyeglasses, and copies of children’s immunization records.
  • Health, dental, prescription cards or contact information and ID numbers for each.
  • A statement from each parent regarding donation of organs (letter of instructions).
  • A living will, if desired, specifying no use of artificial life-support systems beyond reasonable hope of recovery.
  • Medical power of attorney for each spouse, which allows medical decisions to be made by one spouse in the event the other spouse is too ill to do so.

In the event of death

  • Copy of certified will drawn up by an attorney.
  • Funeral and burial information indicating the name of the funeral home and cemetery, the location of burial lots, and a list of which services, if any, have already been prearranged for or prepaid.
  • Drafts of obituaries and funeral programs.
  • A list of professional people familiar with our affairs that may be called upon for help, such as accountants, attorneys, and insurance agents.

Important Items

  • Extra House and Car Keys
  • Small Amount of traveler’s checks or cash
  • Quarters or a phone card
  • Safe Deposit Box Key


  • Negatives for irreplaceable personal photographs, protected in plastic sleeves.
  • Family History Disk.

Have a schedule to review the information on a periodic basis and keep it updated. Discuss the contents of the book with your children and show them where the book will be kept.