We spoke about Financial Documents in Part-1 of our 3-part series about important documents that every household needs to manage. In this article, we are going to talk about ‘Personal Documents’, the second most important category of documents. This category comprises of various documents that are quite important from various bureaucratic processes for government as well as private entities. To understand them better, personal documents can also be further categorized into 4 sub-categories:
First category that comes to our mind when we think about important personal documents is Personal Ids / Certificates such as Aadhaar Card, Passport, PAN Card, Voter Id Card, Ration Card, Driving License, Office id cards, Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate etc.
It is very important to manage these documents because they are referred to as Id Proofs, Address Proofs etc. by all Government & Private bodies and are required whenever we want anything from any of these bodies, be it opening a new bank account or buying a property or just driving on the road.
Since these are mostly personal identification documents, they need to be managed safely in physical form but with digitization happening everywhere, some of these documents are becoming valid in digital formats as well. Nevertheless, these documents are so important and are required every now and then, that it makes a lot of sense to store them in digital forms on cloud so that they are safe from any kind of theft, natural calamity etc. and are easily accessible whenever required.
Medical documents include Doctor’s diagnosis reports, prescriptions, lab reports, x rays, medical procedure details like surgeries, expense bills etc. Each individual family member’s documents need to be managed separately, including pets, if you have any.
It may not sound so important for people who are still young but with ageing parents, very young kids, ailing family members etc. maintaining proper health records is very important. Doctors rely a lot on past records in any further diagnosis. Keeping track of medical records also helps in tracking your expenses on health issues as they can easily run into significantly higher amounts and disturb the family’s budget.
Medical records are not perpetual documents; hence they need to be maintained for certain period (6 months to a year generally) and need to be discarded after that. Also, these records generally are not required to be kept in the original physical form (except for maybe X ray reports etc.), hence should be immediately converted into digital format and physical forms can be disposed off.
Education documents include a plethora of documents such as –
- 10th/12th Marksheets, Passing Certificates & Character Certificates
- College Marksheets & Degree Certificates
- Letters/Certifications of other Professional Courses
- Marksheets and Education Documents of Kids
- Awards & Recognition Certificates
These documents are used for various requirements such as date of birth proof to professional qualification proofs to performance certificates. These are very important documents when an individual is going for higher studies or taking up a job.
All these documents are typically issued as physical documents. While original documents are required to be kept safe, a lot of the places just need digital copies to be shared; at the same time these are very important documents from a career point of view, hence having digital versions of these documents is very helpful.
Employment documents include –
- Offer/Relieving Letters
- Increment/Bonus Letters
- Salary Slips & Form 16
- Awards & Recognition Certificates/Letters which are important signifiers of the employment history of an individual.
These documents are important signifiers of the employment history of an individual. These are required when the individual is switching jobs, applying for a loan, filing tax returns etc. Not having these documents could seriously jeopardize the individual’s chances to successfully make a job switch.
Most of these documents are issued as physical documents but are not necessarily required in original in future. So while it is great to have the physical copies filed safely, it helps a lot to have them safe in digital format which is easily accessible and can be printed and shared as and when required.
Personal documents play a very important role whenever the family or any of the family members is having any new beginning, be it moving to a new city, starting a new job, starting a new business or as simple as buying a new car. It helps a lot to manage these documents and make them readily available in digital format so that such bureaucratic processes do not hamper the start of something new for the family.