NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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What is an Important Paper?

What is an Important Paper?


If you view your household as a mini-business, many of the functions of planning, purchasing and record-keeping are the same as for any other type of business, large or small.  Financial records are a vital part of that small business.  They are a key to your credit standing, are essential to help you save money on taxes and provide a continuing indication of your financial progress.

A systematic plan for keeping track of important papers that come into your home can save hours of anxious searching, can help preserve peace and harmony among family members looking for that important paper and make it easier to cope with emergency situations.

Record-keeping, however, is more than merely a matter of neatness and order. Legal and safety factors enter into it as well.  Many records and papers can be kept in a home file for easy access, while others should be kept with your attorney or place in a safe-deposit box. A good rule to follow is to keep the item at home unless it is a legal document or is difficult to replace or duplicate. Then it should be kept in a safe-deposit box or possibly left with your attorney.

Family records that you will want to consider keeping at home in a file cabinet include: education records and diplomas, bank statements, canceled checks, credit card information, employment records, funeral plan documents, insurance policies, keys, medical history, retirement records, tax returns, organization membership records , record of subscriptions, appliance manuals, warranties, and household inventories.

Records that you will want to consider keeping in a safe deposit box or a fireproof, waterproof home safe include: adoption papers, birth certificate, citizenship papers, death certificates, divorce decrees, military records, government bonds, abstracts for real estate, property easements, titles,  stocks, bonds, CD’s, passport, copyrights and patents, list of insurance policies and wills.

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