Spring Cleaning – Freeing Yourself of Clutter After a Divorce

April 30, 2019

The combination of all the documentation that is needed during divorce negotiations and the never-ending stack of documents needed by your tax preparer often create an important pile of clutter.  The good news is that you don’t need to hold onto it forever.

Learn more about what should be done post-divorce in this podcast featuring BDF’s Divorce Practice Group Leader, Heather Locus. Heather talks with Tracey Coates, host of The Divorce Chronicles podcast, about closing accounts, QDROs, healthcare and much more. Follow these podcast tips along with the do’s and don’ts below and you will be well down the path towards your Next Chapter!

What to shred or throw away:

  1. Credit card receipts, statements and canceled checks that are more than 1 year old
  2. Tax returns that are more than 3 years old
  3. Monthly bank statements or investment account statements.  It makes sense to hold on to year-end statements for three years to accompany your tax return unless you can easily access online
  4. Records of loans that have been fully paid more than seven years ago

There are some records that you should keep around, and your MyBDF web portal provides you with a secure vault for storing it all electronically.  Below is a short list of some documents that make sense to always keep around in your document vault:

  1. Your Marriage License, and a copy of your Marital Settlement Agreement
  2. Insurance policies that are still in force
  3. A record of any paid off mortgages or debts until they show paid on your credit report
  4. A copy of your most current estate planning documents (Will, Trust, and Powers of Attorney)

In the year following your divorce, sorting through all your documents and navigating a changing tax situation can seem like a daunting task.  Your team at BDF is here to help lighten the load and coordinate an easy tax season with your tax preparer. Please email the TheNextChapter@bdfllc.com if you would like our Divorce Practice Group to send you or a friend a copy of the BDF post-divorce checklist and forward the podcast to anyone it can help.

Charlie Murin is an advisor at BDF.  He sits on the firm’s Financial Planning Committee, which is responsible for educating the BDF team on financial planning topics and improving the team’s multifaceted planning process.  Charlie earned a Bachelor of Science from University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign, in Agriculture and Consumer Economics with a concentration in Financial Planning.  He has his Series 65 license, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.