Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But follow these steps to make sure you are prepared:
1) If your original, signed documents are not in a safety deposit box try the following safe places to store them. They need to be in a watertight container of some sort and put it up high in case your home floods. Great tip! You can keep original Wills and other estate planning documents in an air-tight plastic bag at the bottom of your freezer actually. Freezers are well insulated and heavy, and have a way of withstanding fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
2) If you have to evacuate, either take the originals with you or make copies and bring the copies and let trusted loved ones know the location of your originals. You may also want to provide copies to a family member who lives out of the path of the hurricane.
4) Protect important insurance policies such as your homeowner’s, wind and flood insurance policies, health insurance and your automobile insurance policy as well. Keep the name of your insurance carriers policy numbers and the contact numbers in an easy to locate and safe place.
6) Your Durable POA, Health care surrogacy, prescription lists and all financial assets and bank accounts numbers need to be stored. I would suggest storing information in a cloud-based, highly protected software program so that you will have access to all information wherever you can find internet access. I like using Last Pass (www.lastpass.com) there is a free app that will store all your logins and passwords for you. Also, try ewallet app on your IOS devise for lists of all policy numbers and contact information.
7) Finally, document everything with a picture! This isn’t the time for a selfie, but time to use your cell phone and take a picture of each room and all your valuables.
Please stay safe this hurricane season! I look forward to seeing everyone in my office to update all estate documents as soon as possible.