Keeping Important Documents Safe

Keeping Important Documents Safe

More documents than ever are being stored in digital form, but paper documents still play an important role in our lives. Is it safe to keep these paper documents in a file at home, or are there other steps that could be taken? Here is a look at some important documents in our lives and how we protect them from fire, theft and natural disasters.

Tax Forms and Receipts

You should keep tax records for seven years. Along with a copy of the forms you filed, you should also keep a copy of other tax documents and receipts. While these forms contain valuable personal information, it is unlikely someone is interested in stealing your tax documents. You will want to keep these in a safe dry place. As you keep the newest year’s records, destroy the oldest years documents.

Home Ownership Papers

These would include any papers related to your mortgage, title, insurance and major improvements. If you should have to evacuate your home due to a pending hurricane or other natural disaster, it may be a good idea to take your homeowners insurance policy with you in case you would need to file a claim. A file is usually sufficient to store these documents, although if you have a fireproof safe, you may want to consider storing them there.

Stocks, Bonds, Emergency Cash

Keep any stocks, bonds or cash in a fireproof safe in your home, one that is ideally attached to a floor or built in a wall. A safe deposit box at a bank is also a good choice for storing valuable papers like stock and bond certificates.

Important Personal Documents

Personal documents like a passport, birth certificate, original social security card and marriage certificate should be kept in a safe at home or at least, a locking file cabinet. This is also a good place for important military records that may be needed to apply for benefits in the future.

Final Plans, Life Insurance

As we get older it is a good idea to keep a file regarding final arrangements and any life insurance policies you have. These plans may include everything from your will to certain meaningful possessions you want to see go to a specific friend or relative. Make sure someone you trust knows where these documents are and how to retrieve them in the event of your death or incapacitation.

Now may be good time to consider a life insurance review. When you contact one of our independent insurance agents, we help you determine just how much and what type of coverage you currently have. They also can secure quotes from multiple companies should you choose. There is no cost or obligation. Contact us today.

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