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Task: Where’s Your Proof Of Ownership?

This article on personal planning is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

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As digital as the world has become, some things still need to be on paper.

Knowing where you keep the proof that you own something, or that a legal situation was settled, can save you and your family a ton of hassle in the long run. Especially when it comes to selling or transferring some of your assets, which can be complicated or expensive in terms of fees or taxes. The same may apply for contracts and other legal agreements, which often are still on paper. Some examples:

  • Deed to a house
  • Title for a vehicle
  • Receipts, especially for high ticket items
  • Court orders like a divorce decree or settlement documents
  • Contracts such as a sale of property or bill of work
  • Certificates of authenticity for artwork, collectibles, or rare items

Now that you know what you’re looking for, think of the answer to these following questions:

  • Where do you keep these things? 
  • Are they in a locked drawer? 
  • An unlocked drawer?
  • On file with your attorney? 
  • In a safe in your home or at a bank? 
  • Do you have digital copies somewhere on your computer or in the cloud? 
  • Did us asking you this question send you into a bit of a panic because you forgot where they are?

The Task

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Create a list of the important paperwork you know you have. Once you have a clear picture here’s what you need to do:

  • Gather up any related paperwork or proof: Start getting all these important documents in the same place; if it’s not easily accessible, like in a safe deposit box or in a locked filing cabinet in your office, include the location.
  • Snap away: Take digital pictures of documents and keep them somewhere safe and accessible for your family

A driving principle behind Everplans is based around consolidating all this information and making sure it’s safe and accessible for when it’s needed. For example, you might not think a car title is important right now, but if your family had to sell that car in the future they’d have everything they needed to do it.

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