Handing Off Your Young Adult's Important Documents

You’ve closely guarded your family’s important documents for years.  Since your youngest arrived home from the hospital, you’ve added their life’s records to the collection and stored them safely for future use.  Years have flown by and a lifetime’s worth of documents have accumulated. Now that hardly recognizable child of yours is grown and ready to make his or her move towards independence and adult responsibilities.  But, what’s the best way to transfer your young adult’s important documents to them?

When to Transfer Ownership

If you have a young adult heading off to college or out of the house and into the work world, one very important parental To-Do’s is to hand over those important documents you’ve been steward over.  But, the thought of handing them over to a young adult whose sense of storage might not be more developed than “on the floor” vs. “not on the floor” is worrisome, to say the least.

First, think gradual release.  Depending on the age and stage, you may not want/need to hand over everything at once.  A child headed to college might not need ready access to all the documents that a college grad moving permanently out on his own would.  Here’s a list to consider as you curate the right list for your young adult:

Which Documents to Pass Along?

  • Birth certificate or naturalization papers

  • Vaccination record, other health records

  • Social Security card

  • Copy of front and back of his/her driver’s license, credit cards, and health insurance cards

  • Transcripts/professional certifications

  • Proof of auto insurance

  • Auto insurance policy coverage

  • Rental lease agreement

  • Renters insurance policy coverage

  • Student loan / car loan

  • Tax returns

Next, think BACK UP.  Don’t hand anything over without first keeping a copy.

How Best to Manage and Store Those Important Documents?

Rather than simply copying those documents and sticking them in a drawer, why not use a tool that securely stores them and provides ready, mobile access?

You know you’ll be getting that frantic phone call when your college student can’t find their health insurance card as they are at the clinic for a strep test.  Or your they have just gotten into a fender bender and can’t find their proof of insurance card.

With the iStratus® app, you’ll have multiple tools on your Apple devices to streamline and secure your document storage and retrieval.

  • Digital copies:  With the PDF Creator, quickly create digital copies of your young adult’s documents BEFORE the hand-off.    You will have the peace of mind knowing there’s a back-up copy secured on your device that is available at a moment’s notice wherever you are.  

  • Dropbox cloud storage:  Keep those digital copies accessible and safe in cloud storage.  Rather than rely on the hope that your hard drive doesn’t crash, or your thumb drive doesn’t go missing, store those most important documents in Dropbox.  The iStratus® Dropbox provides both military grade encryption and mobile access from your multiple Apple devices. Plus, your young adult’s files can be stored in a file folder on your device separate from your personal files or those of other family members.  Tracking files/folders from multiple family members is made easier still by customizing their appearance with colors, fonts, and images.

  • Link a file to your calendar:  If you have an appointment on your calendar at which you’ll need to access one of these documents, the file in your Dropbox can be linked directly to that appointment on your calendar for quick access.

For important documents that are more difficult to replace, like birth certificates and passports, you might want to consider investing in a small fire-proof safe for your young adult. Having secure storage in a dorm room or apartment with roommates and other visitors could be useful for important document storage, as well as for cash, credit cards, or other valuables.

As your young adult ventures into their new role as “responsible adult”, you can sleep a little easier knowing that you can provide a safety net by keeping copies of their important documents stored securely yet easily accessible with the integrated tools of iStratus®.