ElderLaw News — The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News

ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Documents to Keep

If you’re like me, it might be helpful to get a little advice on what bills to keep, how long to save them, and where to keep them.

So when I read the article entitled "Decluttering Your Finances" in the December 2012 Money magazine, it piqued my interest. I knew I needed some improvement in this area, so I felt others probably did, too.

Here's what Chase Bank recommends that you keep for the following periods of time:

One year — paycheck stubs, bills, credit card receipts, bank statements including cancelled checks. In some cases, a photocopy of the cancelled check attached to the bank statements has replaced the actual check, and this is perfectly acceptable. If needed for tax purposes, keep what is relevant for 7 years. An attorney, accountant, or financial advisor can make a recommendation for your particular circumstances.

Seven years — copies of monthly investment account statements, income tax returns, and any documents like receipts, cancelled checks, etc. that support income or tax deductions filed on tax returns, and 1099 forms.

Hold while active — contracts, stock certificates, property tax records, warranties, disputed bills, pension and retirement plans, and home improvement records. Bills and records that are not needed for tax purposes can be disposed of as soon as you receive confirmation that your payment has been received and credited to your account. Receipts for important purchases like appliances should be kept for as long as you have the item, in case you need to file a warranty claim.

Forever — wills, life insurance information, and mortgage data.

Finally, get organized! It’s really not that hard to do. This is a great suggestion, and it only requires a short stop at your office supply store. Purchase a 13-pocket accordion file to keep a year’s records. Label each tab with the name of the month; then, leave the last one for a copy of that year’s tax return. Under the particular month, file anything that comes in according to that month–bills, credit card receipts, and bank statements. This system will make tax season a breeze!


If you are interested in having an Elder Law attorney from The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. speak at an event, then please call us at:

Maryland (301) 214-2229
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The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

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This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter. The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. thanks the law firm of Hook Law Center for their input to this newsletter.

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