Many of us don’t think about protecting important documents until there’s an emergency. Instead of waiting, it’s better to be prepared. Here are a few tips:
- Scan or take pictures of key documents such as your financial records, insurance policy, birth certificates or drivers’ licenses. If possible, store these files securely – preferably with a strong password and encryption to view them. For some of these documents, only the originals will carry any actual legal standing, but having a picture is still better than nothing if you happen to lose it.
- For better protection, consider a waterproof and fireproof location to store your important documents. A common solution is to rent a safe deposit box at a bank. However, these days you have the option of buying your own personal waterproof and fireproof safe.
- Keep copies of important documents with a trusted relative or friend who lives in a different neighborhood – this way, if something happens to your home and your documents are lost, hopefully your relative or friend will not be affected, so your copies could be safe.
Let’s hope you never need to use any of your emergency preparations at all; but it’s best to prepare for emergencies ahead of time while you’re able to think clearly.
This information in the Financial Tips section is provided for educational purposes only and is not tax, legal, financial planning or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed in this section constitutes an offer to buy or sell any securities or advisory products. The information provided is general and is not information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision and should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. You should not regard this information as a substitute for the exercise of your own judgment. Investing involves risk.