Getting Your Affairs in Order

Do you have your affairs in order? Does someone know where your important documents are? Do your loved ones know what your last wishes are should something unexpected and tragic happen to you?
There are many sad stories about people passing unexpectedly and not one person in the family knows what that person’s wishes were. Nor anything about their paperwork. IF there is a will and where it might be. IF there are more accounts other than the obvious checking and savings accounts.
You can have peace of mind knowing you have protected your family and loved ones by taking care to do a few important things.
What is appropriate for you? A will, a living trust, or nothing? A will, at minimum, can name the person or persons (executor/s) that you trust to carry out your wishes. You can name a guardian for your underage children. A living trust does the same things as a will, but provides options for tax planning, and avoids probate. In either case, consulting an attorney who specializes in estate planning will help you decide if a will, living trust, or nothing at all, is most appropriate for you.
Everyone should have an Advance Healthcare Directive filled out, and someone needs to know where you keep it. This form allows you to let your doctors and family know what kinds of medical treatments and life-prolonging procedures you want. This will help your family during a very difficult time and relieve them of the burden of guessing what measures are appropriate for you.
You can get this form online; Here.
Karen C. O’Neil, a Certified Wellness Counselor and former member of the American Counseling Association, is now an Author and Publisher. She has developed the workbook, A Guide to Getting Affairs in Order, after a real life experience with the death of a loved one. She is now determined to help families communicate and have peace of mind, and avoid being caught needlessly in an unfortunate situation during a time of grief.
In 2006, Karen’s ex-husband was diagnosed with three to six months to live. He was 59. Their children were in their 20s. Being an overprotective mother, Karen decided to take on the task of getting his affairs in order. Even though he was alive, and able to answer questions, it was a miracle everything got done. He actually lived just four weeks, and the house passed into the trust on a Friday, and he passed the following Tuesday. After he passed, there was some solace in knowing they were doing everything as he wanted.
The workbook, A Guide to Getting Affairs in Order, organizes paperwork and makes wishes known. It covers wills, living trusts, birth certificates, adoption certificates, marriage licenses, military records, discharge papers, passports, death certificates, Social Security cards, property deeds, tax records, bank accounts, annuities, stocks and bonds, life insurance, real estate holdings, etc.
For example: Is there a safe deposit box? At what bank? Where is the key? Who has access? What are the contents?
Is there to be a burial? Where? What kind of casket? What will be on the marker?
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