Our homes are full of valuable things, but one area of security that can get overlooked is storing important documents. Consumer Reports Research Center reported that 25% of Americans have lost or forgotten a financial document and only about 40% could locate important documents if necessary! There are some documents that are important to keep close at hand and some that should be locked away in a secure place. Here is a list of the five most common important documents that should be stored securely:
Annual tax returns should be kept forever, but supporting documentation can be shredded after three years. It's ok to toss supporting documents after 3 years because the IRS has only 3 years to perform an audit.
More than likely your original will is kept by your attorney, but you should also have a copy on hand. Keep a copy in a safe deposit box or locked in a safe at home.
Every member of your family has a birth certificate. The originals should be kept in a safe deposit box. Also, it is wise to make copies for your files at home in case you need to reference the information.
Passports should be stored in the home in case of an emergency. Keep it locked up but in a memorable location. Before leaving for vacation, make a couple copies of your passport - one to keep on your person and one to keep at home in case it gets stolen while you are traveling.
Social Security Cards:
Your social security card should also be kept locked up in a safe at home. Do not carry it around with you, as it would be easy to get your identity stolen this way.
For an in-depth guide of keeping important documents safe, check out the infographic below!