As the New Year gets underway, it is the perfect time to organize your financial records and prepare for the future. An orderly financial life is crucial, especially when considering estate planning and managing your assets. It can help you lay the foundation for not only healthy finances, but also make things easier to find and understand to ensure it is inline with your estate planning goals. 

We know you may have questions on where you should start. Let us share nine key steps to get your financial records in order right here in our blog.

  1. Gather important documents. Collect all critical financial documents, including bank statements, investment records, mortgage documents, insurance policies, and any other financial obligations or assets. This consolidation makes it easier to review and manage your finances.
  2. Create a document inventory.  List all your important documents and their locations, whether they are in a safe deposit box, a home safe, or with an attorney. This inventory is essential for your reference and for your family in case of an emergency.
  3. Update beneficiary information. Review and update beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets. Life changes such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child can affect your initial choices.
  4. Review your insurance policies. Ensure your insurance coverage meets your current needs. This review includes life, health, property, and disability insurance. Adjustments may be necessary due to changes in your life or financial situation.
  5. Create the Florida estate planning documents you need. If you haven’t already, consult with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to create or update your estate plan. From wills and trusts to powers of attorney, these documents are foundational to managing your assets and ensuring your wishes are followed.
  6. Digitize your records. Convert important documents to digital files as a backup. Store them securely with encryption and consider a digital estate plan to manage your online assets and digital legacy.
  7. Create a budget and debt reduction plan. Understanding your income and expenses is crucial for long-term planning. Create a budget for the year and a plan to reduce any debts.
  8. Consult with your professionals annually. Meet with your financial advisor, accountant, and Florida estate planning attorney to review your plans and make any necessary adjustments. Remember that professional advice is invaluable in ensuring you are on the right track.
  9. Regularly review and update. Make it a habit to review your financial situation and Florida estate plan at least annually. Regular updates will help you adjust to changes in laws, your personal life, and financial circumstances.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your financial records are organized and your Florida estate plan is up to date. This organization will not only give you peace of mind but also significantly ease the burden on your loved ones in managing your affairs. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services.  By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.