Whether it’s your insurance policy, your Last Will and Testament, or your passport, your important paperwork and documents aren’t going to be too useful if you can’t get to them. That’s why it’s important to not only store them in a safe place, but to make sure you have a contingency plan if you can’t get to that safe place. Here are a few tips to make sure you can get to your documents when you need them.

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Use a Safe or a Safety Deposit Box

Using a safe or a safety deposit box to store your documents is perhaps the most common way to keep your important paperwork secure. Consider using a safe at home or at your office for documents you may need to access more frequently, like your passport, for example. This will save you the hassle of going to the bank every time you’re planning on using your passport for identification or travel.

For important documents like your will or marriage certification, consider using a safety deposit box at a bank. Moreover, it’s a good idea to make this a jointly-owned safety deposit box. That way, if you’re unable to retrieve the documents yourself because of an emergency or because you’re simply out of town, your spouse, parent, or close friend will be able to help out. Bank safety deposit boxes an obviously quite safe and, in the event that your house is damaged or destroying (from a natural disaster, for example), having originals or copies away from home will make getting back on your feet much easier.

Store Online, in the Cloud

Obviously, not all documents can be stored online. Government IDs, such as your passport or drivers license, are good examples to keep in mind. But for legal documents, such as your Last Will and Testament or any business compliance forms, keeping a copy in the cloud is one of the smartest things you can do.

Physical documents, after all, can be lost or damaged. You could need them when you’re across the country on business but your paperwork is in a safe in your house. That’s why having legally binding, digital documents is a great idea. You’ll be able to access them immediately and you won’t have to worry about them getting stolen or damaged. All of our legal forms and documents can be e-Signed and stored online, giving you the peace of mind that your paperwork is safe and there when you need it.

Give Copies to Someone You Trust

Lastly, simply producing copies and giving them to a trusted party is a smart idea. If you have a family attorney, make sure he or she has copies of your important legal documents. For certain documents---like a Power of Attorney---make sure that the person you’ve named in the document has a copy. That way, if you’re unable to produce that document, your agent will be able to act on your behalf without having to track down paperwork. Saving even a small amount of time in that sort of circumstance can make all the difference. 

Storing your paperwork intelligently will allow to find and use it when you need to. But even smartly stored documents can be damaged or lost. If they are, take a minute and learn how to replace important documents.

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day