Glossary

PLANNING & CONTACTS

ZIPPERED POUCH

  • Cash/Checks: Money in the form of currency or a negotiable personal check.
  • Extra Keys: Extra copies of keys to home, vehicles, etc.
  • Key to Safe Deposit Box: The key which opens a safe deposit box when used with a key maintained by the financial institution.
  • Jump Drive: A Jump drive, also known as a USB drive, flash drive or keychain drive is a portable storage device that uses flash memory and is lightweight enough to attach to a key chain.

PLANNING

  • Key Contacts: A form provided with the PortaVault and accessible on the website. One side of the form has a place to record the names and phone numbers of key people, such as doctors, accountants, employers, schools, etc. and the other side of the form has a place to record the names of family and friends.
  • Document Locator: A form provided with the PortaVault and accessible on the website, to be used to track the location of the documents and records listed on the labels included in the PortaVault.
  • Emergency Plan: A form provided with the PortaVault and accessible on the website, to be used in developing your emergency preparedness plan.

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IDENTIFICATION & FAMILY RECORDS

CERTIFICATES

  • Birth Certificate: An official record of the date and place of a person’s birth including the name given at birth and the name of the parent(s).
  • Educational Certificates: Certificates received upon the completion of elementary school, middle school, high school, college or a trade school.
  • Religious Certificates: A document certificating a religious event.
  • Marriage Certificate: An official certified copy of the information registered when two people get married.
  • Death Certificate: An official record of the date, place and cause of death.

IDENTIFICATION RECORDS

  • Social Security Card: U.S. Government issued card which shows an individuals nine digit social security number. The Social security number is needed for employment purposes, to collect social security benefits, to receive other government services, to establish credit and obtain a driver’s license.
  • Driver’s License: A license which is issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles which authorizes the bearer to drive a motor vehicle. The license includes a photograph and identifying data, such as name, address, age, height, weight, eye color and birth date.
  • State Issued Identification: A card issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles which includes a photograph and identifying data, such as name, address, age, height, weight, eye color and birth date.
  • Passport: An official government document that certifies a citizen’s identity and citizenship and permits the citizen to travel abroad and re-enter the home country.
  • Recent Picture: A picture which should clearly show the physical attributes of an individual. Record on the back of the picture, height, weight, color of eyes and hair. The date of the picture should also be recorded.

CITIZENSHIP & MILITARY RECORDS

  • Military Records: Documents received during military service and upon discharge from military service.
  • Immigration Records: Legal documents associated with the entrance into a country for purposes of permanent residence.
  • Naturalization Records: Legal documents associated with the granting of citizenship.

FAMILY RECORDS

  • Adoption Records: Legal documents pertaining to an adoption.
  • Custody Agreements: Legal documents that provide proof of the legal custodian.
  • Separation/Divorce Records: Legal documents that indicate or support your current marital status.

PET RECORDS

  • Pet’s Picture: A picture which should clearly show the physical attributes of the pet.
  • Birth/Breeding Documents: Documents with information about the birth and breed of a pet.
  • Vaccination Record: A record of the vaccinations that a pet has received.
  • Pet License: The document with information about your pet’s license.
  • Pet Medication: Information on medications a pet maybe taking.

FINANCE & PROPERTY

BANK ACCOUNTS

  • Checking Account Statement: A statement prepared by a financial institution listing the checking account activity for a specific period of time. The statement also includes your account number(s) and the name, address and phone number of the financial institution.
  • Savings Account Statement: A statement prepared by a financial institution listing the savings account activity for a specific period of time. The statement also includes your account number(s) and the name, address and phone number of the financial institution.
  • Certificate of Deposit: A certificate from a financial institution stating that the named party has a specified sum on deposit, usually for a given period of time at a fixed rate of interest.
  • Safe Deposit Box Information: A document which has the location of the financial institution where the safe deposit is located including the authorized individuals who have access to the safe deposit box. Also consider making a list of all of the contents of the safe deposit box.

CREDIT CARD INFORMATION

  • Credit Card Statements (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, gas card, store credit cards).  A statement listing the details of the credit card activity.  The statement also includes the account number and the address and phone number of the credit card company and procedures for reporting the loss of the card.
  • Credit Report: Also known as a Credit File Disclosure provides all the information in an individuals credit file maintained by a consumer reporting company that could be provided by the consumer reporting company in a consumer report about you to a third party.

HOME OWNERSHIP

  • Closing Statement: A document prepared by a closing agent, describing a real estate transaction, which provides an itemized listing of the closing costs and monies disbursed during the close of escrow.
  • Deed: A written document that transfers title to property. There are several different types of deeds; a trust deed, a grant deed, a gift deed, a deed of reconveyance, a quitclaim deed, and a tax deed.
  • Mortgage: A legal document that obligates a borrower to repay a loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period of time. The mortgage is usually secured by a deed of trust on the property.
  • Title Insurance: Insurance which protects the lender and the homeowner against loss resulting from any defects in or liens upon a title.

INVESTMENTS

  • Investment Account Statement: A statement prepared by a financial institution listing the activity in the investment account(s) for a specific period of time. The statement also includes your account number(s) and the name, address and phone number of the financial institution.
  • Stock Certificates: A certificate establishing ownership of a stated number of shares in a corporation’s stock.
  • Bonds or Treasury Securities: Documents establishing ownership of a bond or treasury security.
  • College Savings Plan: A savings plan that allows you to put aside money for a future education. The money grows tax-deferred and, at least under current law, is tax-free when withdrawn if used to pay qualified education expenses.  Most common form of college savings plan is called a 529 Plan.

LEASE AGREEMENTS

  • Residential Lease Agreement: A written agreement between a landlord and tenant, through which the tenant is granted the right to exclusive use and occupation of the landlord’s residential property for a specified amount of time, and in exchange for an agreed-upon sum of money.
  • Vehicle Lease: A written agreement between an individual (Lessee) and a Company (Lessor) who owns the car.  The Lessee is granted the right to exclusive use of the vehicle for a specified amount of time, and in exchange for an agreed-upon sum of money. At lease end, the Lessee must return the vehicle to the Lessor, unless the lessee has an option to purchase the vehicle and exercises the option at lease end.

LOANS

  • Vehicle Loan: A loan used to purchase a vehicle, usually secured by the title to the vehicle.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit: An open-ended loan with specific limitations that allows a borrower to borrow against the equity in a property.
  • Consumer Loan: A loan that establishes consumer credit that is granted for personal use.
  • Student Loan: A loan offered to students or their parents to assist in payment of the costs of education.

HOUSEHOLD RECORDS

  • Record of Home Improvements:  A list of the major improvement projects, including the type of improvement, who performed the work, the cost and the date of the improvement.  This information is helpful for insurance and tax purposes in the event of a loss.
  • Pictures of Home: Pictures of the inside and outside of your home, with the date they were taken.  Storing the pictures either on CD or a small video tape should be considered.  Pictures can be very helpful for insurance and tax purposes in the event of a loss.
  • Utility Bills: The statements received from utility companies which have account information and company contact information.  This information is useful for stopping service and also to prove residency, which can be required to receive government services in the event of an emergency.

VEHICLES

  • Bill of Sale: A written document that indicates a sale between the buyer and the seller and also provides evidence of transfer of title of the vehicle.
  • Certificate of Title: A document issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles which lists the registered owner(s) of a vehicle.  The Certificate of Title is often referred to as a “pink slip”.  If a vehicle has been financed the Finance Company will usually keep the Certificate of Title until the loan is paid in full.
  • DMV Registration: The card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles upon the payment of the annual registration fees for the vehicle. The original registration card should be maintained in the vehicle and a copy kept in the PortaVault.
  • Warranty Documents: Documents which outline the terms of extended service plans purchased with a vehicle.

TIME SHARE OWNERSHIP

  • Timeshare Agreement: A document with information about the type of time share purchased which is either a deeded time share ownership or a “right to use” vacation interval option.
  • Note Payable: A legal document that obligates a borrower to repay a loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period of time.

RETIREMENT DOCUMENTS

  • IRA: An individual retirement arrangement, or IRA, is a personal savings plan that allows you to set aside money for retirement, while offering you tax advantages. An IRA may contain mutual funds, tocks, bonds, or other types of investments.
  • Annuity: An investment contract or policy between an individual and a life insurance company which provides retirement income.
  • Retirement Plan: A Retirement plan is sponsored by employers to provide a source of income to an employee upon retirement.  The most common types of plans are: Defined Benefit, Profit Sharing, Cash or Deferred Arrangement or 401k, Employee Stock Ownership Plan or ESOP, Simplified Employee Pensions or SEP, Tax Sheltered Annuities or 403(b) Arrangements. The employer should provide a participant with a Summary Plan Description and, if appropriate, periodic individual statements pertaining to individuals participation in the plan.
  • Beneficiary Designations:  A form to designate the beneficiary for retirement investments or retirement plans.  A beneficiary is the person(s) or entity you choose to receive the remaining assets of the retirement investments or plans.
  • Social Security Documents: Documents received from the Social Security Office regarding benefits you may be receiving or the annual Social Security Statement mailed to individuals 25 years or older who have worked in Social Security covered employment and who are not receiving benefits.

PERSONAL POSSESSIONS

  • Appraisals: A document prepared by an independent professional to establish the replacement value of an item.
  • Household Inventory: A form provided with the PortaVault and accessible on the website, for the recording of household items such as furniture, closets full of clothes, sports equipment, outdoor furniture and electronic equipment. Information to be collected on the document includes a description of the item, location of item, date acquired, purchase price and whether a picture is available.
  • Pictures of Items: Pictures of all household items, including the date of the picture.   Storing the pictures either on CD or a small video tape should be considered. Pictures can be very helpful for insurance and tax purposes in the event of a loss.

VALUABLES & COLLECTIBLES

  • Appraisals: A document prepared by an independent professional to establish the replacement value of an item.
  • Valuables & Collectibles List: A form provided with the PortaVault and accessible on the website, for the recording of valuables such as; artwork, antiques, jewelry, collectibles, china, silver and other items. Information to be collected on the document includes a description of the item, location of item, date acquired, purchase price, date appraised and appraised value and whether a picture is available.
  • Pictures of Items: Pictures of all valuables and collectibles, including the date of the picture.   Storing the pictures either on CD or a small video tape should be considered. Pictures can be very helpful for insurance and tax purposes in the event of a loss.

BUSINESS AGREEMENTS

  • Partnership Agreement: Signed document which outlines the terms of a partnership.
  • LLC Agreement: Signed document which outlines the terms of an LLC.
  • Buy/Sell Agreement:  Signed document which outlines the terms of the purchase or sale of a business.

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS

  • Employment Contract: Formal agreement between employer and employee stating the terms of employment in an organization.
  • Stock Option Agreement: Formal agreement between employer and employee stating the terms of a stock option grant.

HEALTH & MEDICAL

MEDICAL INFORMATION

  • Immunization Records: A record that provides information on the vaccinations that a person has received.   When enrolling children in school or child care programs immunization information is usually required.
  • Health History: A form provided with the PortaVault and accessible on the website, to use in documenting your health history, current medical conditions, contact information for your doctors and prescription dosage information.  The Health History Card included in the PortaVault is printed on card stock which makes it easy to take along when traveling.
  • Prescription Information: A document the pharmacist provides for every prescription which explains the drug prescribed.  Information includes; common use, how to take the medication, possible side effects, precautions, drug interactions and other information.

HEALTH INSURANCE

  • Insurance Cards: Cards issued by insurance providers which provide details on your insurance coverage, and information on how to contact the insurance company.
  • Medical Insurance: The document which summarizes the terms of the insurance that pays for all or part of a person’s health care bills. The types of health insurance are group health plans, individual plans, workers’ compensation, and government health plans such as Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Dental Insurance: The document which summarizes the terms of the insurance that provides coverage for dental services under a group or individual policy.
  • Prescription Insurance: The document which summarizes the terms of the insurance that covers all or part of the cost of prescription medications.
  • Vision Insurance: The document which summarizes the terms of the insurance that provides coverage for vision services under a group or individual policy.
  • Medicare Information: Documents pertaining to your participation in the federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older and for individuals with disabilities.
  • Medicaid Information: Documents pertaining to your participation in the program sponsored by the federal government and administered by your state that is intended to provide health care and health-related services to low-income individuals.

LIFE AND OTHER INSURANCE

  • Life Insurance: An insurance policy that guarantees a specific sum of money to a designated beneficiary upon the death of the insured or to the insured if he or she lives beyond a certain age.
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD & D): An insurance policy that covers death or dismemberment as a result of an accident. In contrast to life insurance, AD&D generally would not pay survivor benefits in the case of death by illness.
  • Disability Insurance: An insurance policy designed to replace a percentage of your gross income should a sickness or illness prevent you from earning an income.
  • Long Term Care Insurance: An insurance policy that pays some or all costs of long term care at home or in a nursing home care for a qualified insured.
  • Beneficiary Designations: A form to designate the beneficiary for retirement investments or retirement plans.  A beneficiary is the person(s) or entity you choose to receive the remaining assets of the life insurance proceeds or death benefits.

HEALTH CARE PLANNING

  • Living Will: A legal document in which an individual instructs health-care providers about their wishes with respect to medical procedures should they become incapacitated.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: A legal document in which an individual appoints an agent to make health care decisions on their behalf.

INSURANCE

PROPERTY INSURANCE

  • Home Owners Insurance: An insurance policy that provides damage protection for your home and personal property from a variety of events, such as fire, burglary and more, but typically excludes damage from flood and earthquakes.   The insurance may also contain personal liability coverage, which protects against lawsuits involving injuries that occurred on and off your property.
  • Renters Insurance: An insurance policy available to non-owner occupants of residential property that provides coverage for personal property and personal liability.
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance: An insurance policy which provides added liability protection above and beyond the limits on homeowners and vehicle insurance policies.
  • Personal Articles Floater: An insurance policy designed to insure property of a moveable nature. This coverage usually protects against all physical loss, subject to special exclusions and conditions. Examples of this type of property include jewelry, furs, silverware, fine arts, and valuable collector’s pieces.

DISASTER INSURANCE

  • Earthquake Insurance:  An insurance policy that covers damage caused by an earthquake as defined in the contract.
  • Flood Insurance: An insurance policy purchased from the National Flood Insurance Program that protects homeowners against losses from a flood.
  • Hurricane and Windstorm: An insurance policy that covers damage caused by a hurricane or a windstorm as defined in the contract.

VEHICLE INSURANCE

  • Automobile Insurance: An insurance policy that covers the risks associated with driving or owning an automobile. It can include coverage for collision, liability, comprehensive medical and uninsured motorist.
  • Motorcycle Insurance: An insurance policy that provides coverage for motorcycle riders.
  • Boat Insurance: An insurance policy that provides coverage for watercraft, whether that watercraft is a boat, a sailboat, a yacht or some other marine vehicle.
  • RV Insurance: An insurance for a motorized wheeled vehicle used for camping or other recreational activities.

ESTATE PLANNING & TAXES

TRUST DOCUMENTS

  • Living Trust: A legal document used primarily to avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, preserve your privacy and manage your financial affairs. A Living Trust is a trust established while an individual is living. A Living Trust is also known as a Revocable Living Trust or a Family Trust.
  • Affidavit of Trust: A document which enables a individual to transact business as a Trustee of a living trust without disclosing the particulars of the living trust plan.  An Affidavit of Trust along with specific pages from a living trust contains all the information that will be needed by entities the trust will do business with.
  • Property Agreement: An agreement which confirms the character of jointly owned property.  Such agreements are typically employed by spouses to designate property as community or separate.

ESTATE PLANNING

  • Will: A legally binding document that defines how you would like your property distributed when you die and includes the name of an executor who will manage your estate and the necessary paperwork.   It may also define your wishes concerning who becomes guardian over your minor children.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Management of Property & Personal Affairs: A legal document that allows your appointed agent to manage property held outside your trust and handle other matters delineated in your document, such as filing of tax returns, execution of contracts, application for government benefits and management of retirement plans.  It terminates only upon the death of the grantor or if revoked by a legally appointed guardian or by the grantor if he or she remains competent.
  • Final Wishes: A written record to convey your final wishes regarding your funeral and burial, people to be contacted, thoughts to share with family and friends and details of any preparations you may have already made.
  • Cemetery Plot Deed: A document proving ownership and location of a specific cemetery plot.

TAX RETURNS

  • Federal Tax Return: Forms that the Federal Government requires a taxpayer to file by a designated date to report the income earned, deductions taken and taxes due.
  • State Tax Return: Forms that a State Government requires a taxpayer to file by a designated date to report the income earned, deductions taken and taxes due.
  • W-2 Form: The form an employer must send to an employee and the IRS which reports an employee’s annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from his or her paychecks. An employee must receive a W-2 form in January following the year worked.

OTHER TAX INFORMATION

  • IRS Form 2119: This form is used to report the sale of your main home, if you replaced your home within the replacement period or you postponed paying tax on all or part of the gain.
  • Information on Carry forwards: Documents created to support information that will affect the filing of tax returns in the future. These documents could be difficult to reconstruct if all of the supporting records were not available.