163) Organizing Your Legal and Financial Papers

Deciding which personal legal and financial documents to keep and which to throw can be daunting. As a result, most of us either keep everything and eventually face the problem of bloated files in precious space or attempting to replace a critical record that got tossed unknowingly. In this mini-course, we’ll review the importance of personal documents, such as bills, receipts, contracts, insurance policies and statements, bank and broker statements, investment prospectuses and reports, appraisals, annuity contracts and bills, wills, powers of attorney, prenuptials, trust agreements, and tax returns. Some records may be irreplaceable and should be kept in a locked fireproof file; others may be kept in a permanent file; others may be kept for a definite period of time before tossing; still others can be immediately tossed so they never make it into the files in the first place. Making sure the files and folders are set up properly for your purposes will smooth the job of filing away the papers and records.