Keeping important documents safe

Once your Will and Enduring Power of Attorney have been drafted, it’s a good idea to store them in safe custody. Providers of safe custody services include banks and trustee companies.

Placing your documents in safe custody may help avoid situations that could lead to your estate being distributed in ways you didn’t intend.

By storing your Will at home or another insecure location, for example, you run the risk that it may be destroyed or lost. If this occurs, you could be considered to have died without a Will unless evidence can be produced to convince a court otherwise.

A summary of key documents

Identification documents

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage/divorce certificates
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Adoption certificate
  • Passport

Estate planning documents

  • Will
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Advance healthcare directive (also called a Living Will)

Insurance

  • Personal insurance policies (life, income protection, health)
  • Home and contents insurance

Financial documents

  • Bank account and credit card details
  • Most recent tax return
  • Details of mortgage and other debts
  • Superannuation paperwork
  • Pension paperwork
  • House deeds/lease documents
  • Car title(s) and registration details
  • Investment documents (securities, share certificates, bonds)
  • Business holding details
  • Any pre-payments of funeral arrangements

Medicare and Centrelink details

  • Medicare number
  • Medical insurance details
  • Centrelink customer access number (CAN)/ Department of Veterans’ Affairs details
  • Pensioner concession card number

Contact details

  • Nominated beneficiaries for superannuation/pension
  • Employer(s) and dates of employment
  • Financial adviser/accountant/stockbroker
  • Doctor(s)
  • Lawyer(s)
  • Close friends and family, including anyone named in Will/Power of Attorney
  • Funeral home