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4 Things to Keep in Mind When Organizing Your Documents

January 19, 2016

Do you have all your important documents in an organized file system? If not, make it a priority for 2016.

As our 2016 Record Retention Guide makes clear, it is vitally important to save certain documents as the years go by, as your personal circumstances change, as you purchase new things, and set up new accounts. Ensuring that your heirs will have an easy time navigating through your records is what should be in the back of your mind when deciding on a system of organization for your files.

4 organization tips

  1. Make sure you only keep what’s necessary—you don’t want unnecessary clutter. It can be tempting to look at the retention guide with the mindset of “I know I have all these documents, I don’t need to take the time to sort through all my papers”. In the event that something happens to you, however, you do not want your relatives to have to search through an abundance of papers and receipts as they attempt to settle your estate.
  2. Consider storing original documents in a safety deposit box. Copies can be given to loved ones or financial advisors.
  3. Ensure that all your files are backed up. In the unfortunate event of a fire, you do not want the added stress of a completely lost file system. A good rule of thumb is to have three copies of all important documents stored in three different locations.
  4. Know where things are kept and inform those you trust where you are storing everything. Make it easy on your loved ones; the easier things are able to be accessed, the better.

The burdensome task of organizing your documents might be tempting to put off; however it pays to be prepared, and having a full picture of your financial status is not only helpful for you when it comes to handling your taxes, but will be tremendously helpful for your family in the event of your death.

Questions? Contact us.

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