Can I throw away my records?

I have a friend who does organizing for people as a business and I’ve used her services myself.  Why?  Because I always think I may need things later.  It helps to have someone hold up a t-shirt that I haven’t worn for 15 years, and is in a size that I am sure I’ll never see again and make me say out loud that I really need to keep it.  And yes, I now have 2 big bags of clothes to take to the charity resale store.

That works with clothes, but what about my financial records?

Part of me knows that I really don’t need my electric bills from 1994 from a house that has since been sold, but they really don’t take up much room and they would be difficult to recreate if I ever did need them.

This time of year, I hear people recommending that you dispose of financial records that are over 3 years old.  This may be correct for tax purposes.  I’m not a tax expert so I really can’t say.

But, if you want to apply for Medicaid, you need to be able to ‘look back’ 5 years to see if you’ve made a gift that might create a penalty period.  Or rather, you need to be able to prove that you did NOT make a gift in the past 5 years.

And since I’m never sure of what may happen in my life, I want to be prepared, just in case.

So my goal for this spring is to dispose of financial records from 2005 and before.  Yes I know that 2006 was 6 years ago and not five, but at least I’ll get rid of those electric bills from 1994!

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.

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