Although in the previous three blogs, we’ve discussed getting rid of unnecessary paperwork and clutter after three months, one year and seven years, some documents should be kept on hand forever.
This is because they are so important that you may need to reference them at any point in time and it may be a good idea to keep copies and backups. These should always be stored in a safe location, such as a box that is safe from a fire. These documents should be maintained forever:
- Personal identification documents like your social security card or birth certificate.
- Income tax returns.
- Legal documents such as lawsuit settlements, divorce and marriage certificates, and estate planning materials, unless they have been replaced by amended materials.
- Loans for your car and vehicle titles. These should be kept for at least three years from the date the transaction is finalized. This information can prove helpful long after the transaction is finished, however, so you may wish to keep it forever.
- Educational records such as transcripts, degrees and diplomas.
- All major receipt purchases.
- Any relevant financial planning documents and records, like pension plan documents, power of attorney designations, burial information, medical details, and living trusts and wills.
Talk to your estate planning lawyer to learn more about how to safely store these items.