Do you know where your important caregiver’s documents are?

As a caregiver, your hands are understandably full what with taking care of a sick and/or disabled loved one. As a result, you may not have the time or even the inclination to keep track of certain legal, financial, and healthcare-related documents that pertain to the person you provide care for. The fact remains, though, that such documents are important and you may need to be able to locate them at a moment’s notice. Below are examples of some of those important papers accompanied by two options as to whether you can easily reach them when required to do so (the options being ‘yes’ and ‘no’). If the answer in a given case is ‘no,’ be sure to make it a priority to locate, replace, create, or update that particular document.






Personal medical information/health history

·         Location of document:


·         Doctors name and phone number:

Includes names and numbers of doctors, a summary of the care receiver’s medical history, and information about the health of immediate relatives



Current medication list

·         Location of document:


·         Pharmacy name and phone number:

Includes the name, dosage, frequency and time of day, special instructions, prescription number, and physician for each medication. A pill organizer might be a fine complement for this.



Military records



·         ID number:


·         Discharge certificate:


·         Location of documents:








Identity records folder


·         Location of folder:










Keep copies of all of these documents in a single, secure place (the aforementioned identity records folder) in case you must have proof of the care receiver’s identity.



Social security card


·         Number:


Driver’s license


·         Number:




Birth certificate



Marriage license



Divorce records



Death certificate of spouse



Adoption certificate



Naturalization papers






Assets inventory


·         Location of inventory:

A master listing of the care receiver’s assets, including account number and type, name and location of the financial institution, and contact name and phone numbers. This inventory should account for property owned and any sources of income due the care receiver as well.



Checking accounts

May be kept by banks, credit unions, or brokerage houses and can take the form of standard checking or Money Market accounts.



Savings instruments

Include regular savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and savings bonds.




Include publicly traded stocks and bonds, shares of mutual funds, IRAs, Keogh plans, and 401-K plans.



Revenue sources

Include funds coming from an employer – or business if self-employed – from wages or a retirement plan, from Social Security, pension plans, annuity contracts, military retirement benefits, other government programs, tax refunds, insurance claims or settlements, and others.



Real estate owned

Independent or joint ownership of a primary or secondary residence, vacation property (or time share), real property, or vacant land.



Personal property owned

Automobiles or other vehicles, antiques and collections, and jewelry.



Inventory of money owed

A master listing of the care receiver’s debts that shows the account number, the name and location of the financial institution, and a contact name and phone number. Such an inventory can include mortgages, home equity loans, automobile loans or leases, other secured loans, business loans if self-employed, unsecured loans, and credit card debts.



Deed to house or other property


·         Location of document:


Automobile title


·         Location of document:


Loan agreements


·         Location of document:


Personal property appraisals


·         Location of document:


Tax records


·         Location of document:


·         Accountant’s name and phone number:


Veterans benefits documentation


·         Location of document:


·         Contact name and phone number:








Insurance coverage sheet


·         Location of document:

A master listing of all the care receiver’s insurance coverage, including the number of each policy, the amount of coverage, the name and location of the company, and contact name and phone numbers, premium amount and due dates, and beneficiary.



Life insurance

Multiple policies and different types of insurance (group, whole life, term life, universal life).



Health insurance

Health insurance supplement, Medigap policy, or major medical benefits.



Disability insurance




Long-term care insurance




Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance




Vehicle insurance

Policies for all automobiles, as well as RVs, campers, boats, and other recreational vehicles.



Liability insurance

Personal, business, or professional.






Last will, testament, and final instructions


·         Location of document:


·         Attorney’s name and phone number:

Does the care receiver want to revise these documents?



Advanced medical directives


·         Location of document:


Has the care receiver signed a living will or any other medical directive?



Burial Policy/Ownership Certificate for Cemetery  Plot


·         Location of document:




Related: Caring for someone with congestive heart failure (CHF)