Fall Newsletter 2007
Prioritize 2 Organize
What do you mean by Important Papers?
Many of my clients are confused by the gathering of important documents. Disorganization occurs because as human beings we are afraid of making a mistake, so therefore we do nothing. That can result in crisis at highly emotional times in our life. Designate a time of year to review your important papers to see if anything requires updating. Pick a date like your anniversary, birthday, fall/spring time change, or first day of hurricane season. Once you follow a routine, it will be painless and you will feel more in control of your life.
What can be tossed and what needs to be saved?
When my clients use this checklist, it accomplishes changes of the current year and peace of mind that their affairs are in order. It also provides a checklist for estate planning. I have highlighted the most frequently asked questions regarding preserving family history for use in an emergency.
*For more extensive information go to www.how-to-file.com. Under articles, scroll down until you see the article,” How long do I need to keep this? “The author is, Jill Chongva. This is one of the best web sites that details solutions to any organizational filing question you may have.
- Identification: drivers license, social security cards, birth certificates, student and military ID’s, passports
- Marriage, adoption, divorce and death records
- Wills, estate plans, life insurance policies
- Deeds and titles to homes and cars
- Current financial information (on-line summary page, check book)
- Savings bonds, stock certificates
- Most recent tax returns
- Educational information (diploma’s, test scores)
- Current year auto, home, flood and umbrella insurance information
- Current household inventory (video/photo)
- Computer backups and passwords
- Medical information (Plan ID, immunizations ,prescriptions)
- Pet records
Where do I store these papers?
Store these in a 13 tab file folder and place in a fire safe lock box in your home or a safety deposit box. Update records once a year with current information.
How do I gather all of my children’s important documents?
Create a child file for each child in the family. Take a 13 tab folder and label K-12th. This is for the last report card of the year, test scores, and special memories of that school year. The front pocket can house birth certificate, social security card, and immunization records. This provides each child a history of school, sports, church, Scouts, etc. in one location. Update between semesters.
How do I decide what valuables to evacuate with?
Devise a list of family memorabilia that would need to be evacuated. Examples include family heirlooms that have been handed down through the generations such as coin collections, pictures, special cookbooks, and Christmas ornaments of sentimental value. Keep these grouped separately in labeled containers for quick retrieval. Discuss these now with family members as evacuations can be a trying time. It is optimal to make as many decisions as possible before a crisis strikes. Remember, a car can only hold some of your life’s treasures. It is important to prioritize your valuables in a time of calm. We are surrounded by the 20% rule. 20% of our possessions are truly important to us, 80% of the time. Decide on what is the 5 star items you would be devastated to lose. Ask your children and spouses what their precious 20% is. You may be surprised by their answers.
I would like to dedicate this newsletter to my two sisters. They have both provided love and shelter in the storms of my life. They are my 20%!
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