What Documents Should Be Retained and Not Shredded


Not all business needs to be destroyed. Some data needs to be stored for future reference. If you are thinking about document destruction, then you must know the difference between the documents that needs to be retained and the ones that need to be destroyed.

What are the different types of paper shredding services?

On browsing the web for performing industrial level paper shredding services, you will find that shredding firms offer below services, such as:

  • One-time shredding
  • Regular shredding
  • Off-site shredding
  • On-site shredding
  • Locked containers
  • Drop-off shredding
  • Shred events

Legal documents

  • Birth, marriage or death certificates: Keep copies of all these certificates safe in a locker so that you get them when you need it.
  • Wills: Ensure that the will executor knows where it is stored.
  • Power of attorney: Keep the LPA copies safe and only accessible for the lawyers.
  • Passports: Keep your originals in locker and use scanned copies whenever you need them.

Property documents

  • Bills of sale and house deeds: This document is usually not required till you sell the property that is related to it. Keep it safe and organized to make it easier to search at the time of requirement.
  • Mortgage statements: It is evidence that you have paid repayments to the mortgage lender in a timely manner. Keep this payment proof safe for a year.
  • Utility bills: Paper copies should be kept for some months before shredding them as all power bills are available online nowadays.

Financial documents

  • Warranty and receipts documents: Store them till expiry of the warrant. Keep receipts so that you can provide it to the business for a return or an exchange of the product.
  • Bank statements: Bank statements can be obtained online so don’t keep them for a period more than few months.
  • Insurance policies: keep them safe till the maturity of the policy to avoid hassle in locating the policy at the time of its requirement.
  • Bonds: Like insurance policies, keep them till maturity otherwise you won’t get anything in return.

Tax documents

  • Tax returns: HMRC has a 6-year window to examine taxes of people. Thus, keep all the original tax documents safe to avoid any problems later.
  • Tax receipts: Keep tax returns and receipts for 22 months post termination of the tax year.


Safeguarding and storing our wills, birth certificate, etc. is as necessary as protecting our valuable jewelry pieces. The critical thing to know about it is how to keep them protected from getting compromised or damaged in any way.