Could you locate your important documents quickly if you needed to? Would your loved ones know where to find them? A recent study found 30% of respondents were unable to confirm their dependents would know where to easily access or find important and legal documents.
In addition to providing peace of mind for you and your family, there are many benefits to storing important documents in a designated secure location. You eliminate clutter, enable easier sharing, and perhaps most importantly, avoid the frantic search and wasted time looking for that “important piece of paper.”
While it can seem daunting to organize and communicate this crucial information, the tips below can help you easily and conveniently store, access and share these items — and eliminate a great deal of anxiety.
1: Know which documents to store. These may include:
- Titles and Deeds
- Wills, Power of Attorney and Trusts
- Legal documents
- Birth certificates and Social Security cards
- Marriage, divorce and other certificates
- Bonds and other banking items
2: Make a digital copy of your paper documents
Store digital copies in a secure, electronic repository that is easily accessible. If your paper documents are ever lost or stolen, you’ll have a permanent visual record.
3: Keep digital documents in one secure, centralized location
It’s easy to locate important papers at a moment’s notice when you designate one location for them. While this may sound simple, many people don’t practice this easy organization tip. When you know where to look, you save time, gain peace of mind and prepare for the unexpected.
4: Organize related information in clearly labeled digital folders
Organize related information and documents into clearly labeled folders, such as Life Insurance, Wills and Trusts and other relevant categories.
5: Communicate with the people you trust
Make sure your loved ones and trusted advisors know where to find your important documents.
6: Make sure key people can access the documents
And make sure they have clear instructions on how to do so. This will help ensure the information your family needs is secure and accessible in the event of a health emergency or death.
Housing your important documents in a secure location is an important step in the financial planning and management process.
To learn more about ways to keep your important documents secure, contact a Fifth Third Bank advisor.