Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Clearing Out the Files

FilesIt can be difficult to find important documents when they are needed if the amount of kept records are overflowing multiple boxes and filing cabinets. Here are some tips on which documents are the ones to hold on to:

  • Forever: Loan-discharge notices, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage license, military discharge papers, Social Security card, permanent life insurance policies, and all current versions of estate-planning documents with a note attached to update regularly.
  • Seven Years: State and federal tax returns, supporting tax documents, and charitable donation documentation.
  • One Year: Cancelled checks, check statements, and credit card statements.
  • Never: Stock certificates. A broker not a personal filing system should be holding these.

See Toss or Save?, Boston.com, Apr. 22, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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