5 Things To Do If You Lose Your Family’s Personal Documents
Your family’s documents fall into three categories, namely state documents, personal documents, and federal documents. These documents are passports, US savings bonds, Medicare cards, birth and death certificates, insurance cards and documents, debit and credit cards, and social security cards, just to mention a few.
These documents are so important, losing them would mean that your identity may be stolen, or fraudulent activities may be done using them, and as such, your family members would be disadvantaged to a high extent.
So what do you do when you realize your family’s documents are lost? Let’s review 5 important things you can do:
- Identify And Make A List Of The Documents You’ve Lost
You may have kept a lot of your family’s documents in your house or office or maybe you were traveling with them when they got lost. As such you may have to make a list to ascertain which documents are really missing.
This will require a bit of patience despite the frustration you may be feeling. Retrieve every family document you have in your possession from the place where you store them. Make a checklist ticking every document available and placing a star on the ones that are missing. From this checklist, you’ll have ascertained which documents you’ve lost.
- Try Tracing Them From The Last Point Which You Had Them
Your documents may not be lost, it may just be a case of misplacement. Before you take any step of reporting the loss, try and recall the last place where you went with the missing documents and try tracing them from that point.
It may have been in a bank or an administrative office where you carried them to process a particular transaction and may have forgotten them there or maybe they may have been mixed up with other documents in your office. Whatever the case, try and do a follow up from the last point you had them. You might just find them there.
- If You Can’t Trace Them, Report To The Local Authorities
If your efforts to try and trace them yield no result, the wisest step to take is to report to the local authorities informing them of the loss of the documents. Bear in mind that if the documents fall into the wrong hands, you or your family members may become a victim of identity theft or fraud.
Informing the relevant authorities would help curb such unwarranted events from taking place and save you a great deal of trouble in future.
- Begin The Process Of Replacement Of The Documents
It’s not enough to report to the local authorities. You need to begin the process of replacing your family’s personal documents. If, for example, you’ve lost social security cards, it’s important to contact or visit the Social Security Administration office to start off the process of replacement.
There is the section for children social security cards replacement. You can begin by replacing your children’s cards first.
- Create A Proper Storage Point Where Your Documents Will Be Much Safer
Once you’ve replaced all your family’s lost personal documents, it’s important to have a better place for storage. You can consider storing them at your local bank, uploading them on a cloud storage account in soft copies or keeping them in a safe within your house. Ensure that you do not lose them again.