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Should They Stay or Should They Go?

05.17.21 | Operations Chat

As the U.S. and other lucky countries exit the pandemic, we are facing many choices in life. Starting with the sweats you may have been wearing during Work-From-Home for the past year and more, that started out extremely loose, a lot of professionals are facing a more serious dilemma – questioning whether they need all that paper in their offices.

I have heard many in and out of our Firm make this comment: “If I haven’t needed it in the past year, why even look at it? Just get rid of it.” That may work for some of that paper, but there are certain documents you can’t throw out. Let’s bring some order to this dilemma.

Business records can be broken down into two categories.

Retain permanently: Documents that establish the business, ownership, and record of its ongoing progress. Review the Retain Permanently Table for examples of these documents.

Retain for a certain number of years before destroying: Depending on the document, the number years to retain will vary. The Retention Period Guide is a list of some documents and the recommended years to retain them.

On the personal records side, there are documents to keep for life and some that can be destroyed after a number of years. Some of the personal documents to highlight are listed in the Personal Record Retention Guide.

As electronic storage continues to decrease in price, many documents can be scanned and stored electronically. Before destroying the originals, review and confirm that the electronic copies have all pages so that no questions arise in the future. There are still some documents required by states to be retained in the original form. So, it always makes sense to speak with your financial advisor before starting any document destruction project.

Like those sweats from the beginning of this blog, when documents are past their usefulness, make sure you destroy them.

Questions: Contact your Berdon advisor.


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