How long do I have to keep paperwork after someone dies?


Q. My dad died 10 years ago. I have all his financial papers, tax forms, estate info and house sale paperwork. Everything has been filed, paid and settled. How long must I keep everything?
— Feeling cluttered

A. It’s always hard to decide which papers you should keep after someone dies, and how long.

But you don’t have to keep everything forever.

Generally, there is no need to hold on to these papers if you received an estate closing letter or estate settlement letter which would close the decedent’s portion of the estate, said Altair Gobo, a certified financial planner with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.

“However, if there is a `stepped up’ basis on certain assets, the beneficiary might want to keep these files longer or until assets have been disposed of and the statute is closed,” Gobo said.

Happy shredding!

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This story was originally published on Jan. 28, 2022. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.