Caring Web

Being an Informed Consumer

Getting Organized with Paperwork

You can save time and money in stressful emergency situations if you have the proper paperwork in order.

Know where to locate important documents:

-Birth certificate
-Social security card
-Marriage license or divorce decree
-Military records
-Naturalization records
-Medicare records/cards
-Medicaid records/cards
-Funeral insurance policy, funeral instructions, cemetery plot deed
-Stock certificates
-Savings bonds
-Real estate deeds/titles
-Automobile title-Mortgage statement
-Home deed and title or apartment lease
-Credit cards
-Other debts
-Appraisals/valuation of jewelry/coins/antiques
-Make sure that your doctor has copies of the following:
-Living Will
-Financial power of attorney
-Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

organized-Keep written documentation of your loved one's wishes and first-hand knowledge of where they keep important information [as described above].

-Update the information and make revisions as necessary.

-Keep the information in a safe spot where it can be accessed at any time of day or night.

-Inform other family members or close friends of the information and make copies, as appropriate.

Additional Information:

The following are some web sites to provide you with more information:

Steps to Become an Informed Caregiver

The Journey of Caregiving


Aetna Health Connections. (2011). Tips to become an informed healthcare consumer. Retrieved from :

Continuing Medical Education, Inc. (2010). Vital information for the informed patient and caregiver. Retrieved from

Derstine, J., & Hargrove, S. (2001). Comprehensive rehabilitation nursing. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Fisher, D. (2009). How to organize your health insurance paperwork. Retrieved from

Organizing financial paperwork. (2011). Retrieved from

Stein, J. (2009). Stroke recovery and rehabilitation. New York, NY: Demos Medical Publishing.

Stroke Facts: Recovery after stroke: Managing life at home. (2009). Retrieved from

Developed in 2003 by Linda Pierce, PhD, RN at The University of Toledo] for Caring~Web©.

Revised 2010, 2012

Last Updated: 6/27/22