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Blog: Minimizing Financial Clutter

We have spent the last month creating a document called What My Family Needs to Know (WMFNTK) a document that contains all of the information your next-of-kin or personal representative will need when you die and if you are unable to tell him or her where to find it. Your WMFNTK document contains 4 chapters:  My Personal Information, My Legal Information, My Financial Information and My Medical Information.  If you need to catch up, please see the 4 previous blog entries.
Now it's time to put it all together.  I suggest that you keep your WMFNTK document in two forms:  in a printed document in a 3-ring binder and electronically on a flash drive or CD.  Most people are very visually-oriented.  They like to be able to "see", as well as touch, the finished product.  Printing it out and putting it into a binder also makes it easy to refer to when you need it, without having to fire up the computer.  So why also put your document on a flash drive or CD?  Because flash drives and CDs are easy to store in your file cabinet, home safe, and/or safe deposit box.  And because your information will change over time.  Storing it electronically will make updating your information much easier.
Your Homework for This Week:
Open each of your documents and type in today's date.  You'll want to remember the date you created the document the next time you update it.
Decide how many copies you will need to make.  You'll need one for yourself, of course.  You'll also need copies for your next-of-kin, personal representative, person who holds power of attorney for you, and persons who will need to know your vital information.
Go shopping!  You'll need small 3-ring binders and four dividers per binder.  You'll also need the same number of flash drives or CDs.  (You don't have to spend a lot for your flash drives, as you'll only need a tiny amount of storage.)
Save your documents to flash drives or CDs. 
Print out your documents. 
Label the dividers as follows, (substituting your name for mine):
            Kathy's Personal Information
            Kathy's Legal Information
            Kathy's Financial Information
            Kathy's Medical Information
If you created documents for another person in your household, you can add four more dividers to your binder or create a separate binder for him or her.
Insert your documents behind the appropriate dividers.
Label the front and spine of your binders with:
            What My Family Needs to Know
            Your name
Store your WMFNTK binder with your other important documents. 
Give the additional binders to the appropriate people.  (And be prepared for shock and awe!)

posted on: 7/19/2009 11:30:00 AM by Katherine Trezise
category: Finances

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Minimizing Financial Clutter

by Katherine Trezise

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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.

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