The reasons for disappearance of legal and financial documents are as varied as the type and kind of document. Some reasons documents cannot be located may include misfiling, accidentally throwing them away, theft, or destruction in some type of natural disaster such as a fire, tornado or flood.
Whatever the reason, when documents such as titles, insurance policies, birth records, social security cards, etc. are needed to complete other legal work, like estate plans or property sales, they need to be replaced. The publication Replacing Legal and Financial Documents in South Dakota provides many resources for replacing these and other legal and financial documents. Use the button below to download a copy.
After you replace the missing information the concern again becomes where to file it so it can be found the next time it may be needed. Filing cabinets have their use, however in today’s electronic age the use of a scanner allows documents to be saved electronically. This electronic file can also be saved to an external hard drive or mass storage device allowing you to store these files in more than one location. The theory behind duplicate copies is that the chance of a natural disaster affecting you and the location of the duplicate is relatively small.
The key with any legal or financial documents is to keep them updated and stored in a location that is safe from theft or damage. Remember to update your electronic version of the files as well. This will ensure you have accurate and updated materials when you need them.