By Kathy Cooper
Our clients often ask which records they should keep for what period of time. Some have every bill they ever paid. Some keep nothing. Most of us are somewhere in between, with documents spread in piles all around the house, on the coffee table, home office, safe and safety deposit box.
One good thing about going through the process of planning what we call your “Life Plan”, is gathering all of the important documents about your life in one place: important information about your children, copies of your military discharge papers, deeds, titles, life insurance and annuity policies, statements from bank accounts and so forth. Once you have the basic set of documents, particularly the “permanent” items, it’s easier for you – and eventually for those who need them when you are ill or at your death. You can’t stop at one-time organization, however, you need to revisit and refresh your records. We revisit these documents periodically when our clients come in for a review of their Life Plan.
So what should you keep? Like so many other things, the real answer is – it depends. Recently I saw an infographic that offers solid direction about how to approach the task of sorting through your piles of stuff to make sense of what to shred, scan or store. It is included below for your reference.