Lincoln, NE asked in Tax Law for Nebraska

Q: How long after my parents passed away do I need to keep old medical bills and other documents

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Nebraska, there isn't a specific time frame mandated by law for how long you should keep old medical bills and other documents of your deceased parents. However, it's generally advisable to retain such records for a period that aligns with any potential legal, tax, or estate settlement needs.

For tax purposes, the IRS recommends keeping records for at least three years from the date you file your tax return. If there are concerns about unpaid taxes or potential audits, it may be wise to keep these documents for up to seven years.

In terms of estate settlement, it's important to retain all documents until the estate has been fully settled and all debts and claims have been resolved. This can vary depending on the complexity of the estate.

Given that medical bills can sometimes be part of outstanding debts or claims against the estate, keeping these documents until you are certain all such matters are resolved is prudent.

After these matters are settled, and if you're certain there are no other reasons to retain these documents, you can consider safely disposing of them. If you're unsure, it might be helpful to consult with an attorney or a financial advisor to get advice tailored to your specific situation. They can provide guidance based on the details of your situation and any relevant state laws.

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