How Long Should I Keep Old Tax Returns, Estate Plans, House Closing Papers, and Other Important Documents?

How Long Should You Keep Important Documents? In a society dominated by paperwork, the question of how long to hold on to important documents has been baffling for most people. We especially worry about documents of a financial or personally identifying nature. People who worry about losing something important sometimes hoard everything; others who worry about things like identity theft are too quick to shred documents. Most of us, however, lie somewhere between these two extremes: Simply and utterly confused about what to keep and how long to keep it. You do need to save certain documents longer than others, [...]