Give the Gift of Organizing Your Personal and Financial Affairs

Get your affairs in orderHere’s how to get your affairs in order.

It’s a great idea to get your personal and financial affairs in order, so your children will know where things are, both physically and financially, in the event you or your spouse become ill or pass away suddenly.

The Daily Record’s recent article, “How to organize your affairs if you are a senior citizen,” says the first step is to collect your important personal, financial, and legal information so you can arrange it in a way that will benefit you now and your family in the future.  The next step is to create sets of important information and instructions concerning how you want certain things handled when you pass away or if you become incapacitated.

Here are some of the personal, legal, and financial items to consider:

Personal Information

  • Make a list of contact information for close friends, clergy, doctors, and advisers such as your estate planning lawyer, accountant, and insurance agent.
  • Make a list of medications that you and your spouse take and any allergies and illnesses.
  • Include birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage licenses, military discharge papers and other important papers.
  • List the locations that are locked or password protected, like safe deposit boxes, safe combinations, and security alarms.
  • List the companies or people who provide services such as: phone, cable, electricity, etc.
  • Write down specific instructions for the care of pets.
  • Detail your wishes for organ and tissue donation, along with funeral instructions. If you have a pre-paid contract for the services of a funeral home, include a copy of the agreement.

Legal Documents

  • Include all of your estate planning documents, such as your will and any trusts.
  • A copy of your financial power of attorney that names a trusted agent to handle money matters, if you’re incapacitated.
  • A copy of your advance medical directives, including a living will and medical power of attorney, which detail your wishes for end-of-life medical treatment or when you are unable to communicate health decisions for yourself.

Financial Records

  • Create a list of your accounts, brokerage and mutual fund accounts, and other financial assets.
  • Make a list of loans, leases, or debts, like a mortgage, car loan, student loan, medical bills or credit card balances. Add to this list, all credit and charge cards with the card numbers and contact information.
  • Note any retirement plans, pensions, or health benefits from your current or former employer with the contact information for the benefits administrator or HR Department.
  • List insurance policies: life, long-term care, home, auto, Medicare, Medigap and prescription drug insurance policies with policy numbers and pertinent phone numbers.
  • List real estate, vehicles, and other properties you own, rent or lease and include the deeds, titles and loan or lease agreements.
  • Detail the location of your tax records and your tax preparer’s contact information.

Now that you have all of this, keep it organized in a fireproof box or a home safe, and review this information and keep it up-to-date. And don’t forget to let your family know where to find it.

Reference: The Norman (OK) Daily Record (January 2, 2017) “How to organize your affairs if you are a senior citizen”


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.