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To Shred or Not to Shred?

If you are lucky, your loved ones have all their paperwork in order and filed neatly away. Though, whether this is the case or not, you will eventually be dealing with every piece of paper.

When it comes to estate clearing or planning, it is easy to become overwhelmed very quickly, especially if your loved ones haven’t been very organized.

A couple ways to make the process more manageable are:

1. Take it room by room.

In order to make sure you don’t miss anything important, clean out one room a day to ensure you look through every nook and cranny. Folks from older generations, like your Aunt Sue, have a tendency to hide important documents or money under mattresses, loose floor boards, or the back of dressers. Be sure to check everywhere!

2. Create piles.

As you start gathering all these important and sensitive papers, create two piles—to shred and to store. Dividing your papers into these two categories as you go will save you time in the long run.

Not sure what constitutes as sensitive or important docs*? Be sure to shred or store (especially if you are the executor) the following papers:

  • Birth certificates, passports, driver’s license, health card
  • Social security cards
  • Bank statements
  • Medical and pharma bills
  • Stock and bond certificates
  • Life insurance policies
  • Military records
  • Annuities
  • The will

*Do not hesitate to ask your lawyer what will be needed for future reference. It will give you a starting point as to what should be stored and what can be shredded.

Still unsure what you should shred vs. store? Feel free to contact us for further information.