Securing Your Valuables is Worth the Extra Effort If you are one of the thousands of people who will move or remodel your home this year, it is important to evaluate how you will organize and protect your personal valuables from damage or theft. “Whether we are helping a client pack for a move or managing their estate sale, our focus is to safely handle the many personal possessions they place in our care,” said Paige Losoya, Owner of Caring Transitions of North San Antonio. “We also help clients understand how to best protect other valuables they choose to move on their own.” Losoya offers the following suggestions to help secure important papers, small valuables, coins, jewelry, passports, photos, high-end collectibles and small electronics: Use of Locks and Safes: The locks on most standard jewelry boxes can easily be broken or damaged during a move, so it is best to keep rare treasures and expensive jewelry in a bank safety deposit box. If you are moving a long distance, you may choose to close your safety deposit box ahead of time and have the contents moved. Make a list of the contents and authorize access to a trusted family member or attorney. Remember, personal items are insured through your insurance provider, not the bank. You may also choose to store items you access regularly in a small, personal fireproof safe in your home. If this is the case, be sure to make a list of the contents, record any serial numbers and take photos of each item. If you use keys for file cabinets, china cabinets or jewelry boxes, it is best to secure copies with a trusted friend or relative, in the event the keys are lost or misplaced during the move. High-Value Inventory: Although it may seem daunting, taking a complete home inventory can be very helpful. Welldocumented inventories, especially of high-value items, can help you determine proper levels of insurance, ensure a fair settlement in the event of a loss, expedite any claims processes and help you track belongings that are moved or stored. Start by recording a basic list of your most valuable items, and then gradually inventory the rest. First, prioritize the items by choosing a “benchmark” value and itemizing all the items that are worth that figure or more. For example, most movers consider everything valued at more than $200 as “high value.” You may begin a High Value Inventory by creating a detailed list of items from each room of your home worth more than $200. Be sure to number each item, record its value and condition and include photo attachments, proofs of purchase, receipts or appraisals. If you are having movers transport these items, your high-value inventory list will be used to identify the items that would not normally appear on the carrier’s inventory sheet. Examples of high-value items include small electronics, coin collections, expensive jewelry and precious stones. In the event of a claim, it is important for you to have the supporting documentation. Be sure to save a copy of the completed inventory in a fireproof safe or a safety deposit box. Securing Personal Information: In this era of identity theft, it is also important you secure all of your personal information. Most legal advisors recommend you keep original wills, trust instruments, or powers of attorney with your attorney or in a safety deposit box. Keep in mind, when legal questions arise, access to safety deposit boxes may be subject to waiting periods. You may also keep copies of these important documents in a fireproof safe at home, wrapped in waterproof packaging to protect them from possible damage. At the very least, pack these items in a taped and sealed moving box so the contents are not easily identifiable. © Caring Transitions 2006-2011. All content created by or on behalf of Caring Transitions. No reprint in part or entirety without permission.
According to Legal Zoom.com, the following 10 documents should be kept in a personal, fireproof safe: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Current insurance policies and agent contact information. Your family's passports and original birth certificates. A list of your family's doctors, prescriptions and pharmacy contact information. CDs or an external hard drive containing digital copies of all family photos. Safety deposit box keys. Important papers related to investments, retirement plans, bank accounts and associated contact information. Information on your outstanding debts, due dates and contact information. Original Social Security cards. Copies of your important legal documents, including powers of attorney, living wills, health care proxies – both for yourself and anyone for whom you are designated attorney-in-fact or health care surrogate. 10. Copies of family wills and all wills in which you are designated the executor. Securing Storage Units: If you are placing items in storage units, look for a facility with good security features, including alarms and video surveillance. If you are securing your unit with locks, it is recommended to use a high-security, “shrouded” type that cannot be easily picked or cut. Hardware and home improvement stores generally charge more for these locks, but thieves are less likely to target them. Police recommend you take photos of expensive items and where they are stored within the unit. This can help detectives determine a thief's modes of entry and exit and may assist in the recovery of the stolen goods. In addition, renters should record the serial numbers of electronics or other products that are left in storage units. Some retailers may use this information to track certain devices. Humidity, mold and insects may destroy valuable art and furnishings, so be absolutely certain your unit is temperature controlled and schedule a quarterly fumigation. High-end rugs should be wrapped and checked regularly for insect activity to prevent damage. As Losoya states, “Our personal treasures sum up our lives in so many ways – that’s why it is so important to take a few extra steps to protect them for our own continued enjoyment or that of future generations.”
About Caring Transitions As life changes, it may become necessary to leave a familiar home and part with personal belongings in order to downsize and relocate to a smaller home or retirement community. At Caring Transitions, we help our clients understand the process, evaluate their options and make informed decisions that suit their best interests. We are committed to making each client’s experience positive by minimizing stress and maximizing results.
Visit us online at www.CaringTransitions.net/nsanantoniotx. Call Caring Transitions North San Antonio for a Consultation – 210.399.0246 Serving Boerne, Fair Oaks Ranch, Bulverde, Helotes, Alamo Heights and San Antonio Paige Losoya, Owner of Caring Transitions of North San Antonio
© Caring Transitions 2006-2011. All content created by or on behalf of Caring Transitions. No reprint in part or entirety without permission.