Basic Financial Planning for Newlyweds




Articles of 

Message Board

CPAs, Lawyers & Advisors







(Important Documents, Accounts & Policies)


Your Initial Financial Plan:


Looking For a CPA, Lawyer or Financial Advisor who has worked with lots of other newlyweds and is familiar with the issues that affect you?  

Do you maintain a list of your important documents, accounts, and policies (I.D.A.P.)?  If so, do you update that list from time to time?  Do other people know where to find your list, and then, could they make sense of the information listed?

Maintaining an updated inventory of your important documents, accounts, and policies is a smart thing to do.  When compiling your list, make sure to include a description of the following items, including account numbers and where each item is located:

  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Real estate deeds and mortgages
  • Auto loans, leases and insurance policies
  • Other loans and debts
  • Life and disability insurance policies
  • Homeowner's/renter's insurance policies
  • Wills
  • Other important legal documents including health care proxies and durable powers of attorney
  • Tax records
  • Jewelry and other valuables

When going through your accounts, take the time to double-check who is the named beneficiaries on each of your insurance policies and retirement accounts.

It's also a good idea to inventory what's in your wallet.  All you need to do is make a photocopy of the front and back of each item you carry around with you.  When copying what's in your wallet, why not cancel those credit cards you never use any more?

Do you have a safe deposit box?  Since that's where you hold many of your important documents, maintaining an updated inventory of what's in your box should not be overlooked. 

Upon completing or updating your inventory, make at least three copies of your I.D.A.P. list.  Keep one in your files at your home or office.  Give a second copy to a family member, close friend, or to your CPA or attorney.  And if you have a safe deposit box, that's the perfect place for a third copy to be stored.

While putting together and updating your inventory takes time, imagine the time that will be wasted if you (or someone else) need to find all your important documents, accounts, and policies without the help of an updated list to go by.

We've prepared an Excel Template (idap_list.xls) that you can download to help you keep track of your important documents, accounts, and policies.




E-mail us at