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My parents died 10 years ago. I was the executor. The final return, etc was filed, no problems. I still have all their tax and financial records, which I'd like to get rid of. I believe I've extracted anything referring to myself or my siblings.

Question: can I just throw this stuff out without shredding? There's kind of a lot, so it would be a pain to run it all through our shredder.

(NB: I'm not sure if this is the right venue for questions about paper. If not, feel free to toss this.)

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    It's information, you're concerned about securing it; I think it's on-topic. – John Deters Feb 7 '17 at 16:37
  • Can't you just make a bonfire on the weekend? – Ricardo Reimao Feb 7 '17 at 16:41
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    @RicardoReimao Trying to use a large bonfire to destroy lots of lose paper is a pretty bad idea. The updraft will blow some unburnt pieces of paper into the air and the wind can spread them over a large area. – Philipp Feb 7 '17 at 16:47
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I think the answer is "no". You are technically a third party who holds the documents, and the SSA website says you need to retain the records for two years after death, and destroy the records after they are no longer needed. It doesn't appear to list exceptions to the destruction rule for a deceased persons' records.

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  • [humbly] Pretty please, senpai, a link to the SSA website? – Mindwin Feb 7 '17 at 17:41
  • ssa.gov and search for the word "retention"; also search for "shred". Those searches lead me to links that provided the details above. – John Deters Feb 8 '17 at 4:19

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