Different people have specific filing systems of storing and organizing important documentation.  Some purchase a fireproof safe, whereas others rely on a filing cabinet, or a safety deposit box.  While many of these documents don’t need to be protected in an “element” proof environment you should know where the item is at any given time, and consider making copies (at the very least) kept somewhere else (i.e. like at the home of a friend or family member).  Having copies of these documents elsewhere can help you when you travel, should you get robbed, or if their is a fire at your home.  Some families will even create their own family emergency binder (or binders) to help them just in case they need quick access to important documents, after all it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Here are the primary documents you should consider making copies of for an Emergency File or Binder (remember to photocopy the front and back of your cards) to make your life easier should you face an emergency or need to replace lost cards and documents.

  • Birth Certificates
  • Health Cards
  • Driver’s License
  • Social Insurance Numbers
  • Passports
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Mortgage Paperwork/ home deed
  • Divorce papers (if applicable)
  • Wills
  • Power of Attorney for you (and other family members)
  • Car titles/ lease info.
  • Health Insurance ID Cards
  • Property Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Key Relatives addresses and phone numbers
  • Listings of family doctors & dentists etc. with contact info.
  • Contacts for children’s school(s) and/or childcare facilities
  • ID numbers for utilities, property taxes, phone, cable, internet etc.
  • Bank account numbers (info)
  • Most recent financial statements from investments
  • Immunization records
  • Listings of any family member’s allergies and or medications
  • Death certificates of any immediate family members
  • Home inventory of valuables (including some photos if applicable)
  • Last year’s tax returns
Other Important documents that you will want to keep organized (but not necessarily make copies of)
  • Appliance Warranties and instructions
  • Pet vet bills/ health records
  • Employment contracts
  • Pay stubs
  • School Report cards
  • Car repair information/ bills
  • Copies of bills for past year
  • Tax returns from past seven years
  • Important tax receipts (i.e. charitable donations etc.)
To print a downloadable checklist, click here