Monday, May 3, 2021

Organizing Final Documents

Dear Friends,

Well, I thought we were past death planning and then I got an email from a friend.

We were discussing how people plan for end of life from a legal and financial perspective. She said there are ways to use these products as a comprehensive system, and I think there are some great ideas. Here's her note:

"The major system is called "Get It Together" (there’s a pun there). It’s published by Nolo Press. They often have sales, so if you are not in a hurry, you can periodically check their site. I am on their mailing list and would be happy to alert you when they have a sale. You are welcome to preview my book before you decide whether it’s something you want to purchase. Here’s the link to Nolo Press:

 There is an optional Planner. It’s a large binder with pre-printed tabs. I use it for copies of most of the documents because many of the originals are in a separate binder that we may eventually put into a safe deposit box. In the interim, I keep original documents in a fireproof box and I update the binder as time permits or new documents are created.   Here’s the link to Amazon:

The next piece is the hardcopy (and e-file) system I use for related materials. It’s called HOMEFILE: Financial Planning Organizer Kit. Here’s the link to Amazon:

Many of our documents are scanned into another computer software system I use (Paperless for Mac by Mariner Software). I create e-files that mirror the Homefile system and save the documents there. While that software has its own backup system, I am a belt and suspenders kind of gal when it comes to electronics, so all the scanned documents are also saved to a portable external harrddrive that can easily travel with me.

The last piece is to find what I call an electronic vault. Our broker and our credit union both have them, They offer free storage independent of your home system and presumably safe from typical home hazards. An added advantage is the ability to grant access to your estate Executor/Executrix or anyone you choose. We upload documents for various professionals we consult. The electronic vault is specially helpful if people live out-of-state. The remote log-in gives them a leg up so they can make plans and in some cases, take the necessary action. Given the digital nature of the world, it can also save time by sending documents to various third-parties who can decide whether they are sufficient for whatever needs to be done. Original documents can always be provided later."

I hope this information helps you as it does me. This is the year to organize!

Take care,