Quick Answer: How Long Should You Keep Official Documents?

Where should you keep important documents?

How to Keep Your Documents SafeSafe Deposit Box.

Your best bet with storing important documents is a safe deposit box.

Home Safes.

For documents you keep at home, or copies of documents in your safe deposit box, get a home safe.

Use Plastic Page Slips.

Use the Shredder..

Why is shredding not a good idea?

Paper shredders increase security risks. You shred your documents to prevent identity theft and maintain the confidentiality of your information. But your paper shredding machine doesn’t offer the most secure method for completely destroying confidential information.

Is it safe to throw away junk mail?

Shred Before Throwing Junk Mail Away. Many consumers may not think twice about simply throwing junk mail away. But those credit card applications and other pieces of mail contain personal information, such as your address. … However, many advise against going straight to the trash with this mail.

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…•

Do I need to keep old refinance paperwork?

Each time you refinance you only need to keep the closing summary that documents your costs and the paid-in-full letter from the old mortgage. … Keep all of the latest refinancing documents.

How many years of pay stubs should I keep?

one yearPay stubs and bank statements (keep for one year) Credit card bills (shred after 45 days, unless you need it for tax or business purposes, or for proof of purchase) Home purchase, sale or improvement documents (keep for at least six years after you sell)

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)

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.

Should I shred my 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).

Should I keep old medical records?

If that’s the case, keep these records for three years. Medical bills: You’ll likely receive physical copies of these bills in the mail. … Keep the physical copies, and make duplicates if you need them. File these away for one year.

What important papers should I keep and for how long?

How long should you keep documents?Store permanently: tax returns, major financial records. … Store 3–7 years: supporting tax documentation. … Store 1 year: regular statements, pay stubs. … Keep for 1 month: utility bills, deposits and withdrawal records. … Safeguard your information. … Guard your financial accounts.More items…

Do I need to keep old closing documents?

As a rule of thumb, you should keep all of the contract papers detailing your home purchase and original loan for the life of the loan. And sometimes longer. Since home loans can have tax implications, the IRS provides guidelines on what paperwork you need to keep and for how long.

How do you prove your house is paid off?

Documents that may be released after paying off your home:A statement showing that your balance is paid in full.Your canceled promissory note.A certificate of satisfaction.Your canceled mortgage or deed of trust.

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 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.

How do I know what papers to keep?

Documents you need to keep for a whileTax records and receipts (keep for seven years)Pay stubs and bank statements (keep for a year)Home purchase, sale, or improvement documents (keep for at least six years after you sell)Medical records and bills (keep at least a year after payment in case of disputes)More items…•

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.

How long are you supposed to keep paperwork?

Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction. Keep records for 6 years if you do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return. Keep records indefinitely if you do not file a return.

What records should you keep and for how long?

To be on the safe side, McBride says to keep all tax records for at least seven years. Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.

How long should you keep old mortgage papers?

three yearsKeep the Most Important Papers Actual contract papers detailing your home purchase and original loan should be kept for the life of the loan. Other loan paperwork, such as refinancing agreements, should be kept for at least three years; some recommend keeping these as long as ten years.

What happens to patient records when a doctor dies?

Where a doctor dies, the records will become the property of the executor of the doctor’s estate. Sometimes the only way the patient can access the records is to locate the doctor or the executor and seek a copy of the records.