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How to Store Legal Documents and Personal Records

August 6th, 2009

LegalOut welcomes guest contributor, Jenny Greenhough, Content Manager at RocketLawyer.com. Greenhough talks about how to store your legal documents. RocketLawyer.com is a partner of LegalOut.

Make it Easy for Family to Access Your Legal Documents

So you’re super organized and you’re thinking ahead — you’ve created your will, your living will, your power of attorney, or your hospital authorization form.  Pat yourself on the back!  But there’s one more essential step that many people don’t think about until there’s an emergency – you need to keep those documents somewhere safe, yet easily accessible.

For example, have you thought about how your heath care agent or trusted family member will access your legal documents if something were to happen to you?  What if you are in an accident and incapacitated?  This is exactly when you need a living will, hospital authorization form, or power of attorney.  But these documents won’t help you or your family if nobody can locate them.

It’s essential to share your legal documents with your loved ones – and the easiest way to do that is to store your legal documents online.  This is the easiest way to give your family members access to your important legal documents, since they can access them from any computer, at any time, with just a login and password.  RocketLawyer.com offers document storage with every Easy Legal Care membership.  A big mistake that people make is to store their documents in a safety deposit box - and family members may not be able to access them immediately, often because access is restricted to you, or because the bank is closed on the weekend.  This makes online document storage an attractive alternative to traditional storage methods.

For original copies of your documents, storing them in a small home safe is a good option because it provides security and relatively good ease of access.  Choose a fire-proof safe – they are usually about $100.  Unfortunately, someone could steal your entire safe, so it’s a good idea to bolt it down or hide it somewhere in your home. You still need to show your family members where the safe is located, and give them the combination or the key, in case you become incapacitated.  Using a home safe in combination with online document storage is a great strategy since you can be assured that your family will be able to put their hands on your legal documents in an emergency, while protecting your original legal documents and valuables from natural disasters and thieves.

jenny_greenhough_150 To read more about your options for legal document storage, check out the Rocket Lawyer free legal help article – How to Store Legal Documents and Personal Records.

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