|This photo was taken of my desk.|
I am still shocked at how many of my clients carry their social security card with them. This is a big NO-NO. Memorize your number and lock that card up. Do not let it sit around in your wallet along with your name, address, and birth date. That is just an open invitation for identity theft.
Instead take all these important and hard or impossible to replace papers and put them in a fire safe. Fire safes are readily available at nearly every hardware store and office supply. You want something that is actually fire rated for a specified period of time. And you also want something you can bolt to the wall or floor in such a manner that getting it detached without access to the interior of the safe is nearly impossible. I am not an expert on fire safes so I will not give an opinion about what type, brand, or fire rating it should have. But you want something that will protect your papers should there be a fire in your home.
My clients also often ask me about bank safe deposit boxes. Personally I am not a big fan. Banks seem to be closed when we have an emergency making it impossible to get into the box until the next business day.
Also people rarely tell their children that they have a safe deposit box much less the physical address of the box. So if something traumatic happens, the children are left with a key to an undefined box. In my experience, safe deposit box keys do not list the name of the bank, the bank address, or often even the box number making it very difficult at times to know where to look for the box.
The bank vault is a great place for your jewels and gold bars. In many cases, a fire safe at home is the best place for your important papers.
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(And for anyone who might ask, NO this is NOT legal advice... even though I am a lawyer. This is common sense advice.)
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