Are you the kind of person that makes New Year’s resolutions? If so, getting your finances and planning organized is a great goal for 2011. I often provide clients with a “document organizer” which is essentially a list of your various important papers and where you store them. This is useful when you re-finance your house, when you prepare taxes, meet with your financial planner, or if someone should need to step in and find something on your behalf. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to receive one. (firstname.lastname@example.org; put “document organizer” in the subject line.)
Below is a list of other action steps to take as you think about getting your estate plan in order for the New Year. (I once met a woman who spent every New Year’s Day putting together her filing system for the coming year, I can’t personally claim to do that, but she WAS one of the most organized people I had ever met…)
1. Get organized! Put your papers somewhere all together, label as appropriate, and then tell someone where they are.
2. Communicate! If you have special wishes, let your family, or loved ones know what they are; if you plan to treat children differently, let them hear about it from you, along with your reasons, to prevent resentment later.
3. Plan! The best way to create a legacy, to be assured that your wishes are followed out, and that your family is cared for as you want is to make sure all this information is known, communicated, and executable.
Best wishes for happiness, peace and prosperity in 2011.