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Being legally prepared

Being legally prepared

Last updated: October 2019

It’s important to be legally prepared to work through the aftermath of a disaster. Check your insurance is up to date and has the right cover and be ready to lodge a claim soon after the event. Prepare a kit of important documents, including a description of your home and a list of valuable belongings, that you can store electronically or easily take with you if you need to leave.

Creating a documents kit

It is recommended that you prepare a documents kit. This kit should contain items of value, important documents and personal information that you will need if you have to leave your home or property.

Sometimes people misplace or lose track of important documents. House and land titles, Wills, birth certificates and other documents are often stored for many years. It might take you some time to find the originals and get copies.

If you are alerted to a fire in your area, you may need to leave very quickly. There may not be time to locate and pack valuables, important documents and other items. Make sure you have pre-packed everything that you want to take with you.

Storing your documents kit

Store copies of your important documents in a plastic folder and/or scan them and store them electronically. Remember to keep your documents kit in a secure place at all times.

Checklist of important information you may need

This checklist should help you think about the kind of documents you need to copy and store:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Will
  • Powers of attorney papers
  • Land and/or house title or certificate
  • Mortgage papers
  • Rental/leasing documents for home or business rentals
  • Current insurance policies and contact details
  • Superannuation and investment details
  • Employment contract (workers)
  • Important business papers (small business)
  • Tax file number
  • Medicare number
  • Health insurance fund number
  • Bank account and credit card numbers

Finding original documents

Land and house titles or certificates can sometimes be difficult to locate. For information about how to find out who holds the title and/or mortgage to your land, see Replacing lost or destroyed title documents.

For more information about Wills, including missing Wills, see Wills and estates.

Further information

The Victorian Government and the Country Fire Authority are encouraging all Victorians who live or holiday near bush, grassland or coastal areas to prepare a bushfire survival plan.

For further information about preparing for the bushfire season, go to the Country Fire Authority website.