It’s 2020! We are at the start of a brand new year with the usual New Year’s resolutions made. Eat right. Loose weight. Travel. Less time on social media and more time at the gym. There is, however, one unique resolution authorities are asking everyone to make. Please write 2020 on all official forms. No abbreviating.
It’s an original resolution. One that might actually be kept!
It all started in Law Office of George E. Moore III, LLC., an attorney in Ohio, who put up the original warning. His Facebook post has over 54,000 shares.
Then the police department of a small community in Penobscot County, Maine shared it. The East Millinocket Police Department to be exact. They also decided put the post out as an actual warning.
The New Year’s Day tip has since gone viral. This piece advice has been all over the place. It’s on ABC News and CNN and FOX News. You can’t buy this kind of publicity!
The question remains. Is this something we need to really worry about?
Allen Homes for Sale
Two Sides to a Story
Looking at all the comments on the posts, many people are talking about the turn of the century. Remember Y2K and all those scares? It seemed like everyone’s computer was going to crash over turning from 1999 to 2000.
Here’s an archived page from the LibraryofCongress.com showing how just one network planned to handle the Y2K issue.
Those poor people. Wonder how viral a Y2K post would have been if we had Facebook then. Would there have been a real panic? Would someone automatically known the solution? We’ll never really know.
The Y2K disaster everyone was warned about never even happened.
You have to wonder why. Was it because computer programmers managed to fix every ‘operating system’ out there? Was it because there really wasn’t a scare in the first place?
A Practical Approach To Abbreviating
Here at Luxe, we take the practical approach to everything. We like to look each situation from all angles before we judge.
We asked Attorney and Realtor® Lynda Roundtree on our team for her take on the subject.
She came up with some very sound advice.
“When signing any type of legal or financial documents, it is always important to make sure the documents are properly dated. Completely writing out the year 2020 as opposed to the abbreviated “20” will erase any potential confusion or fraud if someone were to try and manipulate the date after the fact. Best practice would also include obtaining copies of the documents you sign at the time of execution. I don’t anticipate this being a huge concern, but erring on the side of caution is always best.”
That second part is just as important! Protect yourself by writing out the date. Get copies of everything you sign when you sign them.
They’re the proof in your hand. Those copies of what you signed are part of your best defense against any fraud.
How Long To Keep Documents
What do you do with the copies of all these important papers you’ve saved?
Protect your papers in a warm, dry, fireproof-box, or safe. Invest in a good paper shredder. It will minimize the risk of identity thieves getting hold of your discarded documents.
Organize them in categories such as financial, medical, home, and school. Financial advisers agree you should divide your financial papers into four categories.
Keep for less than a year.
Store papers like your ATM, bank-deposit, and credit card receipts until you reconcile them with your monthly statements. Once you’ve done that, shred the paper documents or securely trash electronic files unless you need them to support your tax return. Keep insurance policies and investment statements until new ones arrive.
Keep for a year or longer.
Hold on to loan documents until the loan is paid off. That will often be for more than a year. Hold on to the title of your car until you sell it. Keep the purchase confirmations for investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds until you sell, so you can establish your cost basis and holding period. Always hold onto your mortgage paperwork, closing file, deed. Keep track of mortgage as it’s being paid off to make sure that your payment records and your bank’s are the same.
Keep for seven years.
Failing to report all of your gross income on your tax returns mean the government has six years to collect the tax or start legal proceedings. Err on the safe side, keep all tax records for at least seven years.
It’s not just as simple as abbreviating a date to protect yourself from fraud. You need to really have a system in place to handle paperwork important to you and the people you love.
They and you are worth the effort.
Thank you to Attorney Lynda Roundtree for the free legal advice.
Lynda has a great reputation for helping people sell homes that have been on the market for quite a while. She has a knack for analyzing the situation and developing a plan to go from unsalable to sold!
Got questions for Lynda? You can contact her here.