Sep 14, 2017

Create a Personal Disaster Recovery Plan in 4 Easy Steps

By United Capital

When trouble knocks on your door, it’s good to be armed with a plan. Proper planning can help you proactively clear hurdles and reduce the stress induced by a natural disaster or other unforeseen calamity. While we hope you never have to use it, a personal disaster plan could provide enormous relief when tensions tend to run high. Just follow these four simple steps:

Step One: Inventory

A complete inventory of your possessions will fast track the insurance claim making process. Your inventory can consist of a physical list stored outside your residence, or pictures or videos uploaded to a secure digital location. You can also use free online software to create and store your home inventory by going to Know Your Stuff. Regardless of the method used, the more details and specifics included in your list (makes, models, serial numbers), the better. It’s possible there may not be any physical evidence left to jog your memory.

Step Two: Define Remote

Important documents, such as Wills, Trusts, Deeds, Birth Certificates, Insurance Policies etc. should be stored outside of your home for easy retrieval if your house is destroyed. As our society becomes increasingly digitally dependent, many have moved away from using a safety deposit box in favor of “cloud storage.” Cloud storage refers to digital data in virtualized pools of storage hosted by third parties. If your financial adviser does not provide secure digital cloud storage space, you could put your inventory on a USB drive or backup your computer online with a virtual cloud data backup program.

Step Three: Know Your Numbers

You will have to contact a variety of organizations post-disaster. Minimize frustration and save valuable time by keeping critical numbers handy, including phone numbers of family and friends, as well as:

  • health, home and automobile insurance policy numbers
  • license number
  • bank account numbers
  • professional advisers’ contact information
    • financial adviser
    • lawyer
    • insurance broker
    • CPA
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As with all other critical data, these numbers must be kept in a remote but accessible location, on your mobile phone, or in secured cloud storage.

Step Four: Acknowledge the Cherished

Protect yourself from heartache by creating digital replicas of cherished photos. Also, keep in mind that items of sentimental value may be “replaced.” For example, if you can identify the colors and yarn used, you may be able to replicate a quilt to pass on to your grandchildren just like the one your grandmother gave you. The key is to document the fine details while you can still touch, feel, see and smell the item.

United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”) is an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management, and financial services organization. United Capital does not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. Clients should obtain their own independent legal, tax, or accounting advice based on their particular circumstances.

Goldman Sachs does not provide accounting, tax, or legal advice unless explicitly agreed in writing between you and Goldman Sachs. Nothing communicated to you, including within this document, should be considered tax advice. We have made no representations with respect to the tax consequences of the transactions contemplated herein. We understand that you have obtained, or will obtain, independent tax advice with respect to the transactions contemplated herein. Notwithstanding anything in this document to the contrary, and except as required to enable compliance with applicable securities law, you (and each of your employees, representatives, and other agents) may disclose to any and all persons the U.S. federal income and state tax treatment and tax structure of the transaction and all materials of any kind (including tax opinions and other tax analyses) that are provided to you relating to such tax treatment and tax structure, without Goldman Sachs imposing any limitation of any kind.