As far as paperwork goes, almost everyone struggles with the questions of how much to keep and how long to keep it.
There are some legal documents that you should have and keep forever. Here is a list:
1. A Will – to distribute assets, choose guardians for your minor children and name an executor. Without it, your state may step in.
2. A Living Will – Specifies your medical wishes, including declining life support if you are unable to make such decisions.
3. A Medical Power of Attorney – authorizes your designee to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to make such decisions.
4. A Durable Power of Attorney – authorizes your designee to make certain legal and financial decisions for you and to pay your bills.
5. Asset List – itemizes your life insurance policies, land, retirement accounts, bank accounts, etc.
You should always have these documents prepared in the state in which you live, because laws vary state by state.