Welcome to www.OnlineOrganizing.com -- A World Of Organizing Solutions Your Order Your Shopping Cart About Us Contact Us Site Map
Do You Need Help Getting Organized?Shop For Organizing And Business Development ProductsProfessional Organizing ServicesFind A Seminar, Workshop, Or Keynote SpeakerRead Our Two Free Monthly NewslettersFree Organizing Tips And AdviceResources For Professional OrganizersLearn How To Become A Professional OrganizerUseful Organizing Website LinksUseful Organizing Website Links


Search for:

Category:

You Are Here: Home - Blogs

NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Legal Matters - Finances - Documents - Estates - Taxes

Blog: Minimizing Financial Clutter
52 WEEKS TO FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION: #14 Got Estate Organization?



It's appropriate that we talk about estate organization this week. Remember the old saying: The only two certainties in life are death and taxes?  We're painfully aware of the second of those two certainties this week as we scramble to submit our tax returns by April 15th.  Most of us don't "forget" to file our tax returns because the federal and state governments are kind enough to give us deadlines, as well as the incentive to file on-time to avoid interest and penalties.
 
Unfortunately, however, there is no such deadline (pun intended) for getting our legal affairs in order.  It's an uncomfortable subject for many of us.  After all, we feel young and healthy.  We're careful drivers.  We won't have to worry about "those things" for many years.  Right?  Maybe yes, but maybe not.  The fact is that none of us knows when we will die or become so incapacitated that we cannot make decisions for ourselves.  Therefore, we have to be prepared and organized!
 
According to estates and trusts attorney L. Content McLaughlin of Tydings & Rosenberg in Baltimore (www.tydingslaw.com),  EVERYONE (including YOU) needs to have these three legal documents in place:
 
1.       Last Will and Testament (or Revocable Living Trust)
If you have one, is it up-to-date?  Does it have the appropriate level of federal and state tax planning, based on current laws?  Have you named a guardian for your minor children and the appropriate person to serve as your personal representative?  Are your assets titled appropriately? 
 
2.       Power of Attorney
Your POA lets you name another person to make financial decisions for you.  It should be "durable", meaning that it will be exercisable even if you were to become disabled or incapacitated.  If you have a power of attorney, and it is more than 3 years old, however, you should know that it might not be accepted by everyone.  Is your power of attorney up-to-date? 
 
3.       Advance Health Care Directive
Your Medical Directive lets you name someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself.  It also states how you want your health care handled if you are in a life-threatening situation.  If you have been certified incapable of making an informed decision regarding your medical treatment, the law will specify who can make those decisions for you.  (Remember the Terry Schiavo case?)  Does your Medical Directive reflect your current wishes?
 
Your Homework for This Week:
 
         Locate your existing Will, Power of Attorney, and Advance Health Care Directive.
 
         Review each document to see whether or not it reflects your current situation and wishes.
 
         If any of your documents is more than 3 years old, schedule an appointment with an estates and trusts attorney to review them and update them, if needed.
 
         Store your legal documents safely: 
 
o   Will:  Store the original, signed document in your attorney's will safe.  Give a copy to your personal representative, and keep a copy at home with your other vital documents.  DO NOT store your original will in your safe deposit box.
 
o   POA:  Give the original, signed document to your "attorney-in-fact" (the person you have named to make financial decisions for you).  Keep a copy with your other vital documents.
 
o   Advance Health Care Directive:  Give the original, signed document to the person you have authorized to make your medical decisions.  Give a copy to your doctor(s) for your medical chart, and keep a copy with your other vital documents.
 
 

posted on: 4/12/2009 11:30:00 AM by Katherine Trezise
category: Finances


Minimizing Financial Clutter: < Previous Post - Next Post >
Blog Central: < Previous Post - Next Post >



Discuss This Post



There are no comments.



Add a comment about this post:
Name:
Comment:
(Note: To reduce blogspam, HTML tags are not permitted in blog comments and will be removed)
Please Enter The Following Code:
In order to cut down on SPAM, we ask that you enter the code exactly as shown in image below. If you can't read the code, simply select "Load New Code" and a different graphic will appear. Cookies must be enabled on your web browser.
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code Load New Code
Powered by Web Wiz CAPTCHA version 2.01
Copyright ©2005-2006 Web Wiz

 



Minimizing Financial Clutter


by Katherine Trezise

View This Blog

   Subscribe To This Blog

About Katherine:

Katherine Trezise is president of Absolutely Organized, based in Baltimore, MD. She is president-elect of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. Katherine holds a masters degree in business administration, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®. Absolutely Organized specializes in helping people organize their homes, paperwork and financial records to make room in their lives for the things, people and activities that are most important to them.

Katherine's Website:

www.absolutely-organized.com




Add this page to your Bookmarks!

E-mail this page to a friend!







www.OnlineOrganizing.com is a service mark of Bradford, LLC.
Content on this site is © Bradford, LLC, All rights reserved.

If you notice any problems with this site, please contact our webmaster.
And if you don't see what you need you are welcome to "ask the organizer" any question!

To see what people are saying about www.OnlineOrganizing.com, check out our visitor comments.

Click here to view our privacy policy.

Calendar Of Organizing Holidays And Events Blog Central Sign Up For Our Free Online Newsletters Join The Conversation At Our Organizing Discussion Board Advertise Your Company On Our Website Be An Affiliate Of www.OnlineOrganizing.com
Check Us Out On FaceBook