When it comes to important documents and other valuables, you must keep them protected from theft and damage. We’re going to cover valuables that negate safe-keeping as well as provide options of ways you can keep your valuables safe.
What valuables should you keep protected?While it may seem obvious what is valuable and what is not, some people overlook certain valuables. Before you seek out a way to protect your valuables, gather the following items together to see how much space you will need.
WillWhile attorneys typically keep original wills, copies should be stored in a fireproof area.
Birth CertificateBirth certificates are often required for important life events including registering for school, obtaining a driver’s license, and marriage. While you can make a copy, you must keep the original copy safe from damage.
Social Security CardAn important document that is required for applying to jobs and healthcare, make sure to keep this safe.
Tax ReturnsEven if you have your tax returns online, it’s a good idea to keep the hard copies out of harms’ way.
PassportPassports allow you to travel the world and they can often be used as an official form of identification.
JewelryIf you have valuable or sentimental jewelry, keep it locked up and safe when not in use.
Hard DrivesKeep important information including copies of family photos, wedding videos, and important documents on a protected hard drive. If your computer crashes, you’ll have a backup.
House/Property DeedYou’ll need the original document if you wish to sell or refinance.
Where to Store Your ValuablesOnce you’ve gathered up your items that require safe-keeping, it’s time to figure out where you will store them. You have two basic options: in your home and in another area.
Safe Deposit BoxLocated in banks or credit unions, these are locked, fireproof boxes. They’re typically small in size and meant for storing important documents such as those listed above. You will have to pay an annual fee (typically $50-$100) for a safe deposit box, but if you are a member of the bank, you will often receive a discount. Since this box isn’t in your home, you’ll need to plan ahead if you need to quickly access important documents. Another important aspect to remember about safety deposit boxes is you’ll need a key. And you must keep this key safe.
Home SafeIf you want your valuables to be close by, you can opt for a home safe. Make sure you look for a safe that is rated to withstand at least 30 minutes of fire, but more protection is better. Another feature to look for is whether or not the safe can be bolted to the floor. However, most safes are heavy, so they will be hard to run off with.
FreezerIf you don’t have the means for a safe deposit box or home safe, you can keep important documents in the freezer. While this won’t protect your documents from theft, it will provide some protection from fire damage.
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