7 Must-Have Personal Documents And IDs To Keep In Your Safe
Typically, certain personal documents and identification cards should be kept safely to ensure they don’t get lost or misplaced. When they do, you may be unable to establish your identity and ownership of specific properties and other financial assets.
Although these documents can be stored digitally, it’s still best to have physical copies if the digital ones are deleted. But given the number of records you’re dealing with each day, you might be confused about which among them deserves to be placed in a safety deposit box.
Below are the seven must-have personal documents and IDs to keep in your safe:
It’s essential to protect all the documents that can help prove one’s identity. These documents include your original birth certificates and those of your family members. Although they seem like decorative pieces of paper, they’re helpful in various situations, such as the following:
Driver’s License Application: It’s helpful to have your birth certificate ready when applying for a driver’s license.
Marriage: You should also provide a birth certificate before applying for a marriage certificate to verify your identity.
School Admission: You need to supply a birth certificate to register for school and verify who you say you are.
Travel Abroad: If you want to travel abroad, you’re probably required to present your birth certificate for identity verification. For example, you can use the birth certificate to apply for a passport, which is necessary for international travel.
By storing your birth certificate in the safe, you’ll be able to easily access the document whenever you need it.
Social Security Cards
Your social security card deserves a spot in your safe as well. It’s an important identification document that you can use to apply for a job, avail yourself of certain government services, and recover Social Security benefits. Unless you memorize your Social Security Number or you need to present the original card, you should never bring it with you to avoid losing or misplacing it. Otherwise, you may have to obtain a new one for your personal reference.
Although getting a new social security card isn’t a complicated process, there are steps to consider to ensure a successful application process. Hence, if you require a new one as a replacement, you can check out some reliable resource websites for more information about social security cards.
State-Issued Identification Cards
While you should always bring your driver’s license and other state-issued ID cards with you, make sure to keep a copy in your safe in case of loss or misplacement. This is because these documents are proof of your citizenship, naturalization, or immigration status.
For example, if you’re an immigrant, you may have to present your green card or other immigration papers to show that you’re a lawful resident of a particular state. Failing to do so may lead to potential legal trouble.
Marriage Or Divorce Papers
Keeping your marriage or divorce papers in a safe is just as vital. For instance, if you’re getting a divorce, you may need to present original copies of your marriage certificate to verify the validity of your marriage or the prenuptial agreement to determine property ownership after the dissolution of your marriage.
Moreover, you should store your divorce-related financial documents in a secure place for tax and child-support purposes. For example, if you’re receiving or giving child support, you may be asked to provide your divorce papers to calculate the proper support amounts. Without these documents, dealing with marriage or divorce matters will be challenging.
When it comes to your asset protection and estate planning efforts, you should keep your last will and testament in your safe too. This is because it’s an account of the properties included in your estate and who receives what once you pass away. If your will is lost, your estate will be administered and distributed based on the intestate succession laws of your state. To avoid this hassle, make sure to keep the original copy in your safe for easy access once you pass away.
Additionally, it’s crucial to store a living will in your safe. A living will is a legal document that provides instructions for your loved ones about your financial affairs in case you’re incapacitated to make significant decisions about your health. Thus, if you want to remove the burden from your loved ones, be sure to secure a copy of your living will and have it placed in your safe.
Deeds And Ownership Papers
If you own specific personal and real properties, you should ensure all the deeds and ownership forms are stored in a safe. When they’re lost or misplaced, you may get into trouble in case you’re required to present them to prove ownership of particular assets. For example, if you’re selling your vehicle to a potential buyer, you may need to provide the title and car registration before the sale goes through. If you’re planning to take out a secured loan, you may have to provide your real estate deed as collateral for the money you borrowed.
Whatever the reasons are, you should include the deeds and other ownership papers on the list of must-have documents to keep in your safe. That way, dealing with transactions that require this documentation will run as smoothly as possible.
Although this information can be kept online, it’s still best to have physical copies of your financial accounts for easy access. These can include bank checking and savings accounts, insurance policies, retirement plans, investment accounts, and other related documents.
Keeping these documents in your safe can be beneficial in case you or your loved ones don’t know about your financial affairs. For example, if you’ve become incapacitated to make financial decisions, your family member can always check the documents in case there’s a need to access your accounts for financial purposes.
Despite the opportunity to keep digital versions of these papers, it’s still important to take care of the physical copies of your personal documents and IDs. Depending on the transaction involved, you may be required to provide the original documents to complete the process without any trouble. Therefore, keep the information mentioned above in mind to be aware of what must-have documents should have a spot in your safe. As a result, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing your personal papers won’t get lost or misplaced.