What Papers Do I Really Need To Keep?

What 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….

How do you store 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.

How many years of medical records should you keep?

seven yearsRegulations & Record Retention Federal 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. For Medicare Advantage patients, it goes up to ten years.

How do you destroy papers without a shredder?

Add a half gallon of bleach to the trash can. Bleach breaks down paper and destroys ink, so it’s great for rendering your documents unreadable. However, be careful while handling bleach — don’t let it touch your skin, and work in a well-ventilated area. Next, add five gallons of water to the trash can.

What are the four must have documents?

4 Essential Estate Planning DocumentsLast Will and Testament. A last will, however intimidating it might sound, is nothing more than a written legal document that states how you’d like your property and assets distributed after your death, whether it’s to charity, family and friends, or even pets. … Living Will. … Financial Power of Attorney. … Living Trust.

Is it safe to throw away mail with address on it?

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.

How long should you keep paper documents?

Chart: What records to keep, how long to keep themDocumentHow long to keep itCredit card statementsOne monthPay stubsOne yearBank statementsKeep monthly statements for one year. Keep annual statements related to your taxes for at least seven years.Utility and phone billsOne month5 more rows•Mar 15, 2010

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 I keep old mortgage papers?

Keep 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 are the most important documents to have?

What Are Important Documents?Social Security cards.Birth certificates.Adoption papers.Marriage licenses.Passports.

Where can I shred papers for free?

Support Local Charities: Most shredding events benefit local charities and nonprofits. Instead of paying a small fee or requesting to have your papers shredded free, you might be asked to make a small donation to a local organization.

How long should you keep car payment statements?

Loan documents: Keep the statement showing your most current balance on your car loan, student loan, personal loan and so on. Save the final statement, showing your balance is paid in full, for seven years.

What documents should I shred and what should I keep?

Which Documents Should You Shred?Old ID. Your birth certificate and Social Security card are two documents you’ll want to keep in a safe place forever. … Old Cards. … Medical or Banking Information That’s Over a Year Old. … Tax Information That’s Over 7 Years Old. … Other Documents That Contain Personal Information.

How long are you supposed to keep financial documents?

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.

Should I shred 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. Also, shred sales receipts, unless related to warranties, taxes, or insurance.

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.