Ask Terry Questions Financial documents

Financial documents

By Terry Savage on December 11, 2023 | Wild Card

My mother passed this year. As executor, I am in possession of all of her financial documents, current and past. Is there a particular timeframe that should be observed for retention of these documents (bank statements, medical EOBs, medical records, broker statements, etc.)? She had a very small estate that was not complicated and did not require probate.

Also, how long should anyone retain broker statements? My filing cabinet is bursting !!

Thank you.

Terry Says

Well, I’m definitely a “keeper” of documents.
Let’s start with brokerage statements first. If they are YOUR investments, you’ll need them to prove your cost basis of any security you own. You might not need all the “in-between” statements, but surely any that list initial purchase price.
(If they belong to your mother, you just need the value of the securities on her date of death, as it becomes your new cost basis).

Aside from that, keep all those records in a box for another year or two, until you are sure the government is not coming back for any reason. I assume you filed a final tax return for the estate. Shove that in the box, along with a copy of the death certificate and put it on your closet shelf!



a personal
finance question