Monday, February 23, 2015

Living Toolkit for Organizing Financial, Medical & Personal Affairs

Lynn A. Dean
Estate Planning Attorney
Tax preparation tends to prompt our thinking about getting better organized. Whether it’s gathering receipts, shredding old files, or donating unused clothing, we have intentions to review our current affairs.  Often overlooked, but equally important, is the personal checklist about our financial, medical and personal affairs. We don’t anticipate an emergency, but the reality is life events happen. If something were to happen will your family, neighbor or close friend be scrambling for key information to help you? Here are a few questions to jump start your personal checklist into writing:

  • Who are your close friends and relatives? (Names & phone numbers)
  • What medications do you take and is there a list allergies, doctor names, phone numbers, Insurance ID? Do you have an Advanced Health Care Directive that appoints someone to discuss your care and where is it located? Have the appointees been informed so that they know what to do? 
  • Are your estate documents (such as wills and trusts) and beneficiary information current? When was the last time these documents were reviewed? Events that trigger a review of these items include marriage, divorce, births and deaths within the family, and tax law changes.
  • Do you have financial Power of Attorney in place? This will appoint someone you trust the ability to take care of matters if you are unable to. 
  • Have you created a list of your assets and financial accounts and is there a list of your financial advisors, accountants’ names & phone numbers?
  • Who have you named as beneficiaries on other assets such as IRA’s, 401Ks, insurance policies?
  • Have you had the conversation about the location of the aforementioned subjects and other important documents?  In plain terms: Where are your documents?

Lastly, consider creating a list of all your passwords and logins to your electronic devices and on-line accounts.

We offer a free download from our website called “The Sandwich Generation Toolkit.” People are using it to document all the answers to these important questions for themselves and for those they care about.

Click here for the free download - Checklist (will insert hyperlink)

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