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Elder Care Tips: The Documents You Should Keep When Transitioning Your Loved One Into Assisted Living

  • By: Hudson Martin PC
  • Published: June 14, 2023
Elder Care Tips: The Documents You Should Keep When Transitioning Your Loved One Into Assisted Living

When a loved one transitions into assisted living, there are a lot of factors to account for. In these situations, one of the most significant things to consider is what to do with their documents. While you don’t want to discard anything important, it is also unnecessary to hold onto documents that are irrelevant.

So which documents should you keep – and which should you discard? Understanding how to properly save and store documents will be instrumental in ensuring that your loved one has a smooth transition into their assisted living situation. Not only will it take the burden off of them as they shift their housing, but it will also ensure that they have a sense of security moving forward.

Old documents can be difficult to go through and organize. They are, however, important when it comes to securing one’s identity and financial information. Below is a comprehensive guide to document preservation and disposal:

  • Stock: Any original certificates should be held on to even if you think they have been electronically converted. You should double check to confirm that the stock has truly been converted to electronic before disposing of old original stock certificates. Electronic account statements for stock accounts should be kept for 3 years – unless available online, in which case all the old paperwork can be let go.
  • Bank Account Statements: Electronic account statements should be kept for 3 years unless available online in which case all the old paperwork can be let go.
  • Tax Returns: Tax returns should be kept for seven years. If you find an estate tax return or gift tax return for either the elder you are helping or their former spouse, even if the estate or gift return is older than seven years, you should keep it and provide it to the elder’s estate attorney and/or accountant as it has direct bearing on estate taxes of the elder when they pass away.
  • Contracts: Any contract that has been terminated over four years ago can be destroyed.
  • Personal records: Vaccination cards, birth certificates (for anyone living), death certificates for a previously deceased spouse, and other vital records should be kept. Marriage paperwork related to a deceased spouse, death certificates for relatives, birth certificates for anyone predeceased, and any other vital record that has no legal bearing now can be destroyed.
  • Tax-Related Bills: Bills for commercial properties or rental income properties, vendor records, or utility bills can be destroyed prior to three years of the last tax return date. Medical bills, charitable donation receipts, real estate tax bills, and other expenses that were taken on any tax return (including a personal return) should be kept for three years. Old bills or invoices that have no bearing on tax returns can be destroyed.
  • Personal Documents: On a case-by-case basis (mostly for sentimental reasons), you can review historic family documents such as reports and school work for grown children, personal letters, achievements, recognition, etc.

Questions About Documents? Get The Legal Answers You Need By Calling Hudson Martin PC Today!

Making the right decisions for your loved one’s documents is immensely important. With the oversight that a trusted attorney can provide, you’ll be able to make this transitionary period as trouble-free as possible for the people closest to you. When it comes to valuable documents, don’t guess. Get in touch with a thoughtful and experienced legal professional today!

To get started with a proactive legal consultation with Hudson Martin PC, please do not hesitate to contact our office at your convenience.


Note: The Information Provided On This Website Is For General Informational Purposes Only And Is Not Intended To Be Legal Advice. The Content Of This Website May Not Reflect Current Legal Developments And Is Subject To Change Without Notice.

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