How to Replace Lost, Stolen or Damaged Documents
When a crisis hits and the responsibility of caring for a loved one suddenly descends upon you, you may not have all the legal documents and other important papers you need because they’ve been lost or forgotten. Here’s how to replace them.
- Adoption Papers
- Advance Directives
- Beneficiary Designations
- Birth or Death Certificate
- Citizenship and Naturalization Documents
- Driver’s License / ID Card
- Income Tax Returns
- Insurance Policies
- Living Will
- Marriage or Divorce Papers
- Medicare Card
- Military Discharge Papers
- Passport (U.S.)
- Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs
- Power of Attorney for Healthcare
- Property Deeds
- Social Security Card
- U.S. Savings Bonds
- Vehicle Registration or Title
Important Note: Don’t expect anyone to give you these documents if your only reason is curiosity. You must have a valid reason, as defined by law, to see your loved one’s private papers.
If you suspect that your loved one has lost track of one or more of their bank accounts, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, income tax refunds, pensions, unclaimed life insurance benefits (including the Social Security death benefit), etc., start looking for their unclaimed money by following the links in the Missing Money section of our free online guide, Where to Find Money for In-Home Care (pages 21 and 22).