Click here to view original web page at What We Can Learn from $127k Lost and Found
Just a few days ago, Mr. Phil LeClerc, of Weymouth, Mass., made an incredible discovery when he purchased a Governor Winthrop secretary desk at an auction. Mr. LeClerc, a regular at Kelley Auctions, had purchased the desk at the bargain price of $40. When he started looking for a missing piece of hardware he found $127,000 in matured government bonds in denominations of $500, $1,000, and $10,000 dollars. The bonds belonged to a 94-year-old gentleman whose assets were being liquidated in order to pay for his assistive care. Mr. LeClerc promptly returned the bonds to their rightful owner, who had misplaced them many years ago and had lost all hope of ever getting them back. In fact, he made an attempt to cash them without physical proof but was turned down by the government. While this story has a happy ending, there is much to be learned from it. Take a moment today to account for all your irreplaceable or hard-to-replace documents, and follow these smart tips:
Always Store Your Documents in a Safe and Easy-to-Recall Location
Don’t let fear or greed get the best of you. If you have documents with financial or legal value, then please consider storing them in a fireproof box, a safe, or at the bank. As you age, keep the location of your documents constant to avoid the risk of forgetting the storage location. If you are using a small, fireproof document box, then consider keeping it in a logical place like the top shelf of the master closet, where relatives and friends can easily find it should you become incapacitated or if you happen to have a memory lapse.
This is the most important lesson from this very unique story, and one that would have saved this gentleman a great deal of grief. Always share the location of your assets with someone you trust. This includes bonds and certificates, but also a list that includes all your banking institutions, retirement accounts, investments, property titles, wills, health directives, and documents for personal identification such as passports and social security cards. If you are an older adult, then it is not too late to take a moment and share with your adult children the location of your assets. If you are an adult child of someone who is aging, then consider discussing this topic and using this very peculiar story as a conversation starter.
Keep Copies of Hard-to-Replace Documents at an Alternate Location and Digitally
Our homes are vulnerable to natural disasters such as fires and storms. Even a fireproof box may not survive an act of God such as a tornado. The best move that you can make to protect your irreplaceable documents is to have an alternate place of storage such as a safe in a bank or a box at a friend’s or relative’s home, and a digital safe containing not only scanned copies of your hard-to-replace documents but also a consolidated list of all your assets and the means to access them.