It’s a smart idea to have all of your important documents in one place in your home. Once you do this, you’ll be able to easily access them in case of an emergency. And I don’t just mean a fire or natural disaster, such as a flood.

If something were to happen to you unexpectedly, a family member could easily find these documents if needed.

Plus, it’s smart to have them all in one place that’s protected in case there’s a fire — such as a fireproof lockbox.

Here are the documents you’ll want to gather for safe keeping:

  • Birth certificate(s)
  • Marriage certificate(s)
  • Social security card(s)
  • Vehicle title(s)
  • Passport(s)
  • Transcripts, degrees, diplomas
  • Divorce records
  • Military service records
  • Will
  • Home inventory receipts (this includes receipts for high value items in your home like furniture and electronics)
  • Jewelry and art appraisals

Put them all in a fireproof safe or in a safe deposit box at the bank. The only issue with the safe deposit box is that you run the risk of needing them when the bank isn’t open. Either way, it is a good idea to store the documents in a ziplock bag or other waterproof bag in case of water infiltration — not all fireproof boxes and bank vaults are waterproof.

These documents represent who you are. You need many of these things when you sell a vehicle, go on a trip, or replace a driver’s license. Sure, you can always get a new document made if you really need to, but save yourself the time and the money and keep them all in one place.

Keep all of these important legal documents together and grab them when you need them.