By Paul McCoy, CIMA®, AIF®
If you were to lose everything today, think about what documents you would need to access in a pinch. Your will, bank statements, passwords and other crucial financial documents - right? Many of us are accustomed to storing such items in a traditional safe deposit box at a bank, or maybe a fireproof safe at home. But in today’s evolving world, more and more people are opting for the convenience and accessibility of a digital safe deposit box. Below we’re discussing what exactly a digital safe deposit box is and what you may want to keep stored in it.
What Is a Digital Safe Deposit Box?
A digital safe deposit box is a virtual, secure archive in which you can place digital copies of anything you want. Unlike the physical constraints of a bank box, most digital safe deposit boxes offer unlimited storage. This allows users to store anything from treasured photos to personal documents.
Advantages of a Digital Safe Deposit Box
One important advantage of using a digital box to store your important documents is the ability to control who has access to certain items within the box - or access to the box altogether. In the event your loved ones need access to your information, a digital safe deposit box can provide ease and accessibility. This can help eliminate the need to frantically search through a loved one’s home or plead with a bank to gain access to what you need.
Limitations of a Digital Safe Deposit Box
As one could imagine, there is a certain limitation to only storing documents digitally. While you could keep scans of original artwork or photos of your favorite memorabilia, you, of course, can not keep the original item in virtual storage. In addition, some legal documents, such as a passport, are only valid in their original form. Therefore, it’s important to not rid yourself of a physical safe deposit box altogether, but rather use a digital version to help streamline and organize what you can.
Remember, however, that you could use a digital box to document the physical locations of important items - such as your passport, will, bonds, etc.
What to Store in a Digital Safe Deposit Box
What you choose to keep in your digital safe deposit box is a personal choice, although it’s typically used for important health and financial documents, password storage and sentimental items.
You may want to consider storing items including:
- Digital copy of your will
- Photocopy of your passport
- Insurance policies
- Health insurance policies, provider names and account information
- Usernames and passwords for online accounts
- Financial information (contact information for your financial advisor, credit card account info, bank account info, etc.)
- Drivers license number
- Social Security number
- List of locations for physical items (will, passport, etc.)
As part of staying proactive and prepared for the future, it’s important to take the time needed now to organize and identify what you or your loved ones will want access to. Utilize the unlimited storage space of a digital safe deposit box to provide a thorough roadmap for loved ones and preserve precious memories.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.