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In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You're Not Around Later

Task: Find All Your IDs & Vital Documents

This article on personal planning is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

identification cards

Check out this short video from Everplans co-CEO Abby Schneiderman to organize your IDs and vital documents.

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In a world that’s becoming overwhelmingly digital, some of the most important and official things we own are still printed on paper or require some sort of physical ID.

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While a few are ornamental certificates meant to be displayed (like a college degree), others are extremely crucial when you need them. We’ve broken this task into two steps.

Step 1

Locate the following things (NOTE: If you don’t have or need the ID or document listed, skip to the next item on the list):

  • Birth Certificate
  • Citizenship Documentation / Green Card / Visa
  • Driver’s License / Non-Driver’s ID
  • Military ID
  • Passport
  • Social Security Card
  • Work ID
  • High School Diploma
  • College/University Diploma
  • Religious Confirmation Certificate
  • Professional or Trade Certifications or Designation (technical degree, doctorate, masters, etc.)
  • Adoption Papers
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Decree
  • Military Discharge Papers

Step 2

Document where you keep all these documents, and store the ones that you don’t need on a regular basis (like a birth certificate) in the same place so they’re easy to find. While you’re at it, take a digital photo and upload it to the Personal Info and IDs section of an Everplan.

The Purpose Of This Task

Beyond getting organized and making you run all over the house: If you had a difficult time locating any of the things listed above, imagine if someone close to you had to try and find it because you weren’t around. Would they have to spend days, weeks, or months searching?

Take some time and scan the list again. You might even want to set some reminders of things you need to do, like renew that passport or driver’s license for when we can all travel again.

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