Steps to Getting Your Affairs in Order

Steps to Getting Your Affairs in Order for Your Family

No one ever plans to be sick or disabled. And as much as you don’t want to think about it, there will be a day where you won’t be around anymore to care for your family, emotionally or financially. What will happen to your loved ones when you’re not here anymore, or when you aren’t able to take care of or make decisions for yourself?

Read more for tips to help you get your affairs in order so your family is well taken care of when an unexpected life changing event takes place.

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Get Things in Order

Here are some basic steps you should take to get your affairs in order:

  • Find a place for important documents and papers. Set up a file, put everything in a desk or dresser drawer, or just write down the information in a notebook. A fireproof safe box is a great choice to keep these documents accounted for and safe. Always make sure to check if there’s anything new to add each year.
  • Tell someone where you put everything – You don’t need to go into details, but someone needs to know where you keep everything in case of an emergency. If you don’t have a friend or relative you trust, ask a lawyer to help.
  • Give consent to your doctor or lawyer to talk with your caregiver as needed. If there are questions about your care, a bill or health insurance, your caregiver may not be able to get needed information without your consent. You can give your consent in advance to your health insurance company, credit card company, your bank or your doctor.

Legal Documents

There are a variety of legal documents that can help you plan how your affairs will be handled in the future.

Take a look at these examples to make sure you understand what each one is:

  • Wills and trusts let you name the person(s) you want everything you own to go to when you pass away.
  • Advance Health Care Directives give you a say in your health care if you’re incapable to make your wishes known and lets you name the person you want to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to.
  • A general power of attorney lets you give the power to someone else to act on your behalf, but will end when you’re unable to make your own decisions
  • A durable power of attorney lets you name someone else to act on your behalf and stays in place – even if you can’t make your own decisions.

It can be overwhelming to know what you need to help your family. It is best to work with an experienced attorney who can help you determine what is best for your situation.

Have a Plan

No matter what you decide to do, make sure to leave your loved ones with the most information possible so that you (and they) are well taken care of.

If you’d like some help setting up legal documents or have other questions regarding your affairs, contact our team.

Image courtesy of Jisc.

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