Do You Store Your Investment And Other Documents Safely?
Most of you might be having a cover for your mobile? In fact, being monsoon season, you might also be providing extra protection to avoid your precious cell phone from getting wet. If we are so cautious about our cell phone, it goes without saying that we should be way more careful about keeping our important documents safe throughout our lives for the benefit of ourselves and our family. These documents could be your investment documents, property papers, educational certificates and so on. The important question is: Where should these documents be stored?
Physical documents can be stored in bank lockers, provided you have understood all the conditions and risks involved in keeping valuables in lockers. Also, before placing them in the locker, it is always better to keep your documents in an airtight bag to protect them from water, termites, etc. Even if you prefer to keep some documents at home, make sure you keep them in a secure location. It would be prudent to keep attested photocopies of your important documents in a separate location to make sure that they don't get misplaced, destroyed or forgotten about, together along with the originals.
However, at PersonalFN we believe that apart from keeping documents stored safely physically, it is also sensible to keep them saved electronically. This will help you, especially in case of loss or damage to documents and will also lower the troubles you may face in acquiring them again.
The Government has recently launched a service known as "DigiLockers". These lockers are free of cost and allow you to store your papers in the digital form (by scanning them). They also allow you to store the e-documents issued by the Government. Features of the locker include 1GB space (going to be available over a period of time, but 10MB for now) and digital signature on documents. In order to register yourself to the DigiLocker, your Aadhaar card number is required. Other ways to store documents electronically could be via "Dropbox", "Google Drive" and so on. Many private companies also offer facilities to store your documents, both physically and electronically.
However, remember that data stored electronically may also be exposed to security threat. Thus it is vital to clearly understand the privacy and safety standards to steer clear of any malpractices or frauds. Also, read through the terms and conditions of the facility well before you opt for it. Ideally, while you may choose e-vaults, also make it a point to store your documents safely in the physical form, as this would stand as a back-up.
Also remember, it would be wise to make your loved ones aware about where your important documents have been placed, so that in case of your demise or an emergency situation, they are not rendered helpless. Life is quite uncertain. Natural calamities (floods, earthquakes etc.) and human transgressions (theft etc.), can lead to the loss of documents that you have acquired with a great deal of hard work and patience.
PersonalFN is of the view that in order to avoid unnecessary stress attached with re-applying for these documents, it is better to take preventive measures. Nonetheless, it is imperative that you do your own research before placing your documents with any entity and don't get too carried away by what anyone has to say.
PersonalFN is a Mumbai based personal finance firm offering Financial Planning and Mutual Fund Research services.
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