Key Legal Documents Everyone Should Have - Wylkan Estate Planning & Certified Elder Law

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in Wylkan Law.

Please let us know how we can serve you. If you'd like to call, please reach us at (800) 635-1355.

This field is required
This field is required

This field is required

Key Legal Documents Everyone Should Have

April 06, 2021

Life is known to throw some surprises. While you can never predict what will happen and when, you can lessen your family’s stress by ensuring that you are prepared. If you become incapacitated or pass away, the last thing you want your loved ones doing is scurrying around for information, or worse, navigating probate nightmares. Gather the following assets today for peace of mind tomorrow.

Take a deep dive into this topic during one of our free webinars. 

Legacy Wealth Planning 8 Critical Mistakes

Basic Documents

Some items should never be shoved in the back of the household “junk drawer”, including these important basic documents that should always be accessible in case of an emergency. Many people keep all of these items together in a notebook and/or security box for safekeeping: 

  1. Vital Records

    • copies of birth certificates / adoption records for each family member
    • copies of marriage licenses, drivers licenses, and passports for each
    • copies of all property and auto records – deeds, leases, titles, etc.
    • copies of all property / umbrella insurance policies
    • document locator (tells where originals / off-site paperwork are stored)
  2. Financial Information

    • list of all bank account numbers
    • copies of the front and back of each credit card
    • list of all investment account numbers
    • list of all retirement / pension account numbers
    • detailed information about any current income / benefits
    • detailed information about any outstanding mortgages / loans
  3. Medical Information

    • copies of health / life / disability insurance cards and policies
    • medical history for each family member
    • list of medications and prescriptions, including dose and pharmacy
    • details about any ongoing medical conditions and treatments
  4. Contacts

    • friends and family to reach in case of emergency
    • neighbors who have access to your house
    • financial institutions, insurance companies, and legal advisors
    • physicians, specialists, hospitals, and other healthcare providers
    • employers and benefits administrators

If you want help getting your legal documents in order or are ready to move forward with creating a will or trust, contact us

Next Steps

Once you have the basics listed above safely in place, begin securing the following key legal documents:


Without a will, your loved ones are at the mercy of the state upon your death, with legislators stepping in to decide how to distribute your assets among your blood relatives. With a will, you call the shots for your family (it makes sense, doesn’t it?) and provide protection for your loved ones from their creditors, divorce, or even their own mismanagement. This document is also the place where you nominate guardians for your minor children. 

Property Power of Attorney 

What if you are still alive but become too ill or incapacitated to manage your assets? A Property Power of Attorney allows you to designate someone to act for you regarding your property during your life if for some reason you are unable to make the decisions yourself. 

Advance Directives 

While a will and Property Power of Attorney ensure that your assets are handled within the scope of your wishes, advance directives let you make arrangements for your care if you become sick. 

A living will makes your wishes known so that if you become too sick to make decisions about your care, you will still receive the medical attention you do (or don’t) want.  An advance directive also makes it easier for family members to make difficult healthcare decisions for you during a time of stress. 

With the additional layer of protection of a durable power of attorney, you can designate a person you trust to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself.  

HIPPA Authorization 

A Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Authorization designates who can access your protected health information. Without such a document, a hospital or other provider might not be able to tell your loved ones any information about your care, or even that you are in their care!

Revocable Living Trust

A trust holds title to your property during your lifetime. At your death or incapacity, your successor trustee manages the assets according to your instructions in the trust. Since the trust continues at your death, no probate process is required, potentially saving significant time and money and providing privacy that may be lost with probate. The trust provides similar protections that a will provides, including protection from the beneficiary’s divorce, creditors, and mismanagement.

Take the next step today by signing up for one of our free webinars:

Legacy Wealth Planning 8 Critical Mistakes

« Back to Blog
1243 Napoleon Street
Fremont, OH 43420
Phone: (800) 635-1355
Fax: (419) 332-5253

lawyers with purpose logo
Follow us on:

Stay Updated

Sign up for future updates from Wylkan Law!

Copyright © 2023 Wylkan Estate Planning & Certified Elder Law. All rights reserved.