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Have you ever looked for a valuable record and was not able to find it right away or never? Remember the feeling of panic? Some records are replaceable others are not. The trouble you will go through to replace or verify these records will be time consuming and may cost you money. Time and effort should be given to organizing and protecting these documents. It gives one a great deal of satisfaction to go directly to a certain piece of paperwork. So lets get started!

Have copies of birth, marriage, divorce, and death certificates. These are filed permanently in vital statistics or city, county, or local offices. You may get copies of birth certificates by contacting your state capital. The listing may be under vital statistics or birth certificates.

You also have personal records that mean a lot to you, however, very little to someone else. These may be personal letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, and diplomas. Keep these all in one place in a metal box or footlocker.

* Wills, life insurance policies, as well as powers of attorney should be stored in a permanent file. Deeds to your home and closing papers (surveys, title guarantees) should be included, or all may be retained in a safe deposit box.
* Records such as the cost of major improvements to your home, additions and etc. Proof of cost can lower your tax liability if you sell the house for a profit later on.

Processing medical and dental claims can be a challenge. Keep the materials you need in one folder, bills dates of birth, social security numbers, blank forms, instructions, for all persons who are covered by your insurance.

If one of your children leaves home for whatever reason, send with him or her list of vaccinations, x-rays that are pertinent to any illness, list of childhood illnesses, this is valuable information for medical related purposes.

It is wise to ask for medical records from your dentist or physician when moving or changing health care providers.

* Tax records files can be disposed of after 6 years. Keep in file according to date making them easily accessible
* Savings Accounts
* Mutual funds and other investments, review every 3 months.
* Canceled checks help to verify a bill that has been paid.
* Sales slips warranties and guarantees in order to replace or fix a defective item.
* Owners manuals.

Use a camcorder and videotape home inventory for insurance purposes. You can describe and note price as you walk though your home. You can also take photographs of your possessions and store them in a metal box or safe deposit box.

Some banks my offer insurance against flood, fire, or theft for an extra fee. Banks are not automatically protected against such catastrophes. It is not wise to put life insurance policies or wills in safe-deposit boxes. They are often sealed by court order when the holder dies. Store in a safe deposit box:
* Copy of will
* Stock and or bonds certificates or bank savings certificates. Not passbooks.
* All insurance policies.
* Small valuables.
* Inventory of items in your home.
* Personal documents i.e.: birth certificates.
* Property records, mortgages deeds titles.