Financial Documents Your Family Should Preserve

10 Important Documents That Your Family Should Preserve Forever

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Most people will have countless list of important documents in their possession throughout their lives. However, most of those documents are relatively unimportant to preserve for your family in the big picture. Most bank statements you shred and toss out within a few months of receiving them, and some tax forms you may keep for a few years, but there are other documents you should never get rid of. Even after you pass.

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Keeping the proper documents safe can help your survivors to pick up the pieces. It will give them clarity on whether your finances were in order, or if you were in the midst of weighing debt management vs debt settlement. Most importantly, preserving these ten financial documents can ensure they grant your wishes after you’re gone. 

Keep This Important Documents List

Important Financial Documents List

1. Wills, Living Wills, & Inheritance Documentation

In the event of your incapacitation or death, it’s important that your family has access to your will, living will, inheritance, and trust documentation. This ensures they disburse your assets as you dictate.

2. Powers Of Attorney

A document that states your or a family member’s power of attorney, for any reason, is incredibly important to keep forever, particularly if someone else held power of attorney at the time of death.

3. Bank Statements

Bank statements and other information can help survivors to close out your accounts and perform any final business. This should include the location of your bank cards and checkbooks, which your family may need to surrender to the bank after passing.

4. Retirement & Pension Information

Documentation relating to retirement funds or pensions is important to retain for the same reason as bank and brokerage documentation. They are financial accounts that will often require proof of kinship to close.

5. Insurance Policies

Having pertinent insurance information can prevent difficulties for the beneficiaries when collecting insurance disbursements. When you need insurance for final expenses, these can be incredibly important documents.

6. Investment & Brokerage Documentation

Just like bank accounts, investment or brokerage accounts will often require documentation to assist in closing out any accounts as part of the final affairs. Having access to the account details and particulars can make this much easier.

7. Property Records, Titles, & Deeds

These documents will be crucial to settling matters of the estate that concern real property. If you own land, homes, or other real estate, make sure your family can access the necessary documents to prove ownership.

Other Important Personal Documents List

8. Military Records

These are important to keep for more reasons than to honor one’s military service. You may also need them to claim any final VA benefits and to ensure burial in ceremonial grounds for some members of the military.

9. Legal Filings

Any legal filings that were in process at the time of death, as well as all previous documentation regarding litigation you were involved in, should be kept indefinitely. 

10. Vital Records

This is an all-encompassing term for anything that isn’t overtly financial but is crucial to establishing your identity. Birth certificates, marriage & divorce documents, social security cards, adoption documentation, passports, and death certificates should all be closely guarded. 

What Types Of Important Documents Should Be Stored Safely?

It may not seem important to retain a bunch of paperwork when you are trying to process grief and loss, but it can be crucial to have your estate and affairs finalized. Be sure you speak with your family about the location of your important documents today, especially if these documents are directly linked to your safety, rights, and property.

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