It’s time to get your important papers organized once and for all!
If you haven’t yet figured out a system for organizing and filing all of your important documents, such as tax information, bank account paperwork, birth certificates, etc., now is the time! You just never know when disaster will strike and, when and if it does, you’ll want to know that your important papers are in a safe place.
It’s a great idea to use a waterproof, fireproof, locked box or safe to file your important documents. You should also have digital copies saved somewhere secure, if possible. But which papers are the most important ones to keep safe and secure? Check out the list below.
Tax return information from the last seven years. If you do your own with any electronic software like TurboTax, they will store your tax forms for you, but any W-2’s or 1099 forms need to be saved as well.
Also, any type of correspondence from the IRS should be kept in a file. If you owed the IRS money and had paid them, make sure you keep all receipts
If you have anything that is a deductible from work expenses or charitable donations, make sure you keep those in a safe place for seven years as well. If you are trying to go paperless, scan those receipts and keep them on the cloud or a hard drive.
Healthcare receipts are other important financial documents that must also be kept and safe.
If you have purchased stocks, you need to have a record of how much you bought them for so losses and gains can be calculated. However, the person you are paying to manage your investments will generally keep track of this for you. If you are designing your portfolio, this is something that you need to take responsibility.
Retirement accounts and 401K documents are important financial documents that should have a place in your system.
Copies of your homeowner’s policy or renter’s policy are nice to have on hand and easily accessed. Please also consider taking photos of your home and belongings to keep with that policy.
Life Insurance policies should also be kept safe.
Bank accounts, passwords, mortgage account information and any other loan documentation that you might have.
Birth Certificates, marriage, divorce papers, and social security cards are essential to keep safe.
Having auto registrations, titles, and insurance policies organized and on hand make to so much less stressful if you need them in a hurry.
Legal documents like health care proxy, power of attorney, legal will as well as copies of any that may pertain to you from family members. A letter of instruction for the family might be a nice addition to this file.