Originally published on May 9, 2017 at LinkedIn

Jennifer Terrana
Attorney at Jennifer L. Terrana, P.A. – Elder Law Attorney

As we age, we tend to become inundated with paperwork. Records from life insurance policies to warranties and much more begin to pile up year after year.

How do we know when a good old fashioned spring cleaning of documents and records is in order?

Take a look below for some basic guidelines regarding best practices for personal record keeping.

Here are the documents you should keep permanently:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Health records
  • Life insurance policies
  • IRA contribution records

Keep these records for seven-plus years:

  • Personal federal and state tax returns
  • Any assets you have sold
  • Annual summary statements from your bank and investment company

These records are best kept for a limited time:

  • Student, auto, and mortgage loans paperwork, excluding proof of the outstanding balance being paid off.
  • For any insurance policies or annuities, keep the contracts until the asset has expired.
  • Discard information about the warranties when they expire or you no longer have the asset it covers.

Purging the appropriate documents assists you in maintaining organization of personal clerical items. By spring cleaning your records, you effectively make it easier to find the documents you need, when you need them the most.

Discover more on organizing your records with this guide from Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.: http://ow.ly/d4gQ30bkuFv