Documents You Should Never Shred

June 7, 2020

In my latest video, I went over how to organize your personal finance documents. My system is completely paperless, but here is a list of documents you should never shred.

  • Academic records (Transcripts, Diplomas, Certifications)
  • Adoption Papers
  • Bankruptcy Documentation
  • Birth Certificates
  • Car Titles
  • Citizenship Papers
  • Death Certificates
  • Deed and Mortgages
  • Divorce Certificates
  • Driver’s Licenses
  • Estate Planning Documents (Wills, Trusts, Health Proxies, etc.)
  • Immunization Records
  • Loan Payoffs
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Military Service Records
  • Passports
  • Social Security Cards
  • Vehicle Registrations
  • Anything With A Raised Seal


  • Reply kELLY June 8, 2020 at 4:31 AM

    If my mom died in 2015, how long should I hang onto her records? The estate was settled long ago. Luckily, we switched her all her assets into a trust and all went fairly smoothly.

    • Reply Annie Margarita Yang June 22, 2020 at 5:28 PM

      Hey Kelly,
      Since it’s all been settled and switched, I would recommend to just hold onto the death certificate and then scan the rest of the paperwork for digital copy you can keep.

  • Reply Kelly June 23, 2020 at 2:37 AM

    I have a great deal of the important stuff scanned. I bet the lawyer really has it all digitally; I’ll ask him how long he holds it.

    I have 3 giant notebooks; scanning wouldn’t be fun. I had to do that for a non-profit I am secretary for after a fire water everything and that was a bear. I declared we are going Google on our documents from now on.

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