What Papers Should You Keep?

How long should you keep bills before shredding?

One yearBills: One year for anything tax or warranty related; all other bills should be shred as soon as they have been paid.

Credit card bills: Shred immediately when paid.

Home improvement receipts: Keep until the home is sold.

Investment records: Seven years after you’ve closed the account or sold the security..

What are the four must have documents?

Four key estate planning documents that everyone should have in placeA will. What is a will? … An enduring power of attorney (EPOA) What is an enduring power of attorney? … An appointment of medical treatment decision-maker. What is a medical treatment decision-maker? … An advanced care directive (ACD)

Is it safe to throw away old utility bills?

Most experts suggest that you can shred many other documents sooner than seven years. After paying credit card or utility bills, shred them immediately. … After one year, shred bank statements, pay stubs, and medical bills (unless you have an unresolved insurance dispute).

What papers to save and what to throw away?

When to Keep and When to Throw Away Financial DocumentsReceipts. Receipts for anything you might itemize on your tax return should be kept for three years with your tax records.Home Improvement Records. … Medical Bills. … Paycheck Stubs. … Utility Bills. … Credit Card Statements. … Investment and Real Estate Records. … Bank Statements.More items…•

How many years should I keep?

Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.

What documents do seniors need?

The 6 Legal Documents Seniors Need to HaveDurable Power of Attorney. A Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) gives a person the legal right to conduct matters on behalf of another person. … Health Care Power of Attorney/Health Care Proxy. … Living Will. … Do Not Intubate, Do Not Resuscitate. … Will and/or Trust. … Advance Directives.

How long should you keep 401k statements?

six yearsIn general, 401k plan records must be kept for a period of not less than six years after the filing date of the IRS Form 5500 created from those records. However, records necessary to a participant’s claim for plan benefits must be kept longer.

How long should you keep your bank statements?

one yearKey Takeaways. Most bank statements should be kept accessible in hard copy or electronic form for one year, after which they can be shredded. Anything tax-related such as proof of charitable donations should be kept for at least three years.

How long should you keep old mortgage statements?

three yearsHomeowners should keep these statements for at least three years. Although the information on these statements is a part of public record, it is always more convenient to keep a carefully-filed paper copy so you can find the information at a moment’s notice.

Should I keep old insurance policies?

For individual life, health, disability and long-term care insurance and other policies that are continuous until they’re canceled, you should keep the policy papers and any amendments until the coverage ends or is canceled.

What is the best way to store documents?

One of the best ways to store paper documents is at home in a safe or file box. While storing original copies of your vital documents in a bank safety deposit box is fine, storing documents you access often is better done at home.

What should you not shred?

Be sure to lock up any important documents that you don’t shred, including birth and death certificates, adoption papers, marriage and divorce papers, citizenship papers, Social Security cards, tax-related documents, deeds and titles, and financial statements.

What are the most important documents to have?

What Are Important Documents?Legal identification documents. Social Security cards. Birth certificates. … Tax documents. Tax returns. W-2s and 1099 forms. … Property records. Vehicle registration and titles. … Medical records. Wills, powers of attorney or living will. … Finance records. Pay stubs.

What documents are needed for end of life?

Here are seven critical documents necessary to cover the aspects of a well-devised estate plan.Last Will & Testament. The fundamental purpose of a will is to outline who will receive your assets upon your death. … Trust. … Power of Attorney. … Healthcare Power of Attorney. … Living Will. … HIPAA Release. … Letter of Intent.

What papers should you keep and for how long?

Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.

Should I shred old utility bills?

You probably already know that you should always shred documents that contain your name and address or financial information, such as bills and bank statements. … There are many types of document that you should dispose of securely – not just those that contain obvious confidential information.

How many years of medical records should you keep?

seven yearsFederal law mandates that a provider keep and retain each record for a minimum of seven years from the date of last service to the patient.

How long should you keep car insurance policies?

State laws vary, but generally require insurance agents to keep copies of their customer’s policies for 6–7 years. Since a nonprofit can’t always count on having access to the insurance agent’s files when needed, each nonprofit should also maintain copies of expired policies.