anyone interested in doing a challenge to get our legal/financial house in order?

Over in Journals, I brought up the idea that it might be interesting to have a challenge where we get our house in order legally and financially. And by financially, I don't mean pay off debt, retirement, etc. I mean wills, power of attorneys, etc. All the stuff we need to have in place if we are incapacitated or for when we die.  farfromtheusual mentioned the book / website Get your Sh*t Together so something along that line.  Or if you are Dave Ramsey follower, a legacy box/drawer.  Anyone interested?

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  • I highlighted this paragraph in the book What Matters Most


     The double trauma sucker punch - the knowledge that I had screwed up some of the things I could have controlled, such as legal stuff, insurance, and money - made a very hard time even harder. Control is perhaps merely an illusion, except for all the things you can control.

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    • MXMOM ugh, yeah, that's rough.

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  •  Next step (step 2)

    pick one thing from your list that you can do with minimal effort. Preferably it can be done by the end of the day. Then do it. And cross it off your list. There, didn’t that feel good?

    to recap - Step 1 is grab a notebook and write a list of everything you need to get in place in the event you die (especially unexpectedly) or are critically injured. You don’t need to do any of these things right now. Just get the tasks out of your head and onto paper where you can address them. Don’t worry about the steps. Just brain dump. 

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  • This is an awesome challenge. I just picked up the "Peace of Mind Planner" which is a fillable book to out all of the information someone would need to know upon your passing: bills, banks/credit cards, vehicles, pets, passwords, all that jazz. I started filling in the basics the day I got it. I'll definitely check out the websites mentioned; thanks for starting this!

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  • MXMOM said:
    Next step (step 2)
    pick one thing from your list that you can do with minimal effort.

    ✔️ Done. Prescription Print-out requested and picked up (for both of us). I have scanned them to Dropbox and put the paper copies in the Important information drawer. 

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  • where is everyone?  Did you finish one quick task on your list? Shout it out here. Haven’t started yet? What is holding you back? How can we help? 

  • Step 3. This one is a toughie. Who is your executor?  
    Usually spouses name each other. Which is simple if the spouse is also the beneficiary or co-owns everything. But you also need to name someone else in the event you and your spouse die together or you die and your spouse is incapacitated.
    Now who? In a family with adult children they are usually next in line. Simple if there is one adult child. Can be more complicated if there are several children. Even more complicated if these children are from blended families. 

    Some parents think one child will be jealous if they are not named so the name all the children. Yikes don’t do that. Then everything will need to be agreed between and signed by all the children. Especially difficult if they live in different places

    I don’t know about you but I don’t think my 25 or 21 year old children are capable of doing what needs to be done. They always call me for help with this kind of stuff. But they can’t call me if I’m dead or in a coma. 

    So who? A sibling? How old are they? Where do they live?  They may not be the best choice. 

    I have no answer  I am going to have to go through my list of people  Whoever I pick I am going to put compensation in the will  because this is a job  or they can use the money to hire a professional to walk them through it  

    here is an article I found to be a good read on being an executor


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    • MXMOM Yeah, this is a really tough decision which has no 100% correct answer for all families. The main thing is to keep your will updated as situations change - as I mentioned in my comment below, my mother was my father's named executor and I had to have her and my brother agree to vacate the entire will in order for me to take over that duty. 

      Re: compensation, I think it is a really excellent idea to include that in the will; also, check your jurisdiction's regulations for executor compensation. In the U.S. at least, some states have it included as either a percentage of assets, and you may want to specify if the compensation in your will is in addition to the area law.

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  • Hah! My budget's name is actually "Get Your Sh*t Together" (without the asterisk...) as inspired by that website. I have been working through my father's estate for the last 2.5 years and it was in very, very bad shape; think two hoarder properties, a decade of tax evasion, and a 30-year-old will that left his estranged wife with probable early dementia as his executor. That last part I had legally revoked, and the taxes are still in progress (BUT AM SENDING TO THE ACCOUNTANT THIS MONTH!!).  If anyone is also left with a sudden and untidy executorship and needs advice on how to begin sifting the wheat from the chaff, feel free to reach out. 

    Anyway, I'm not ready to participate in this challenge for myself as I'm pretty booked up with his estate, and have no children or spouse to consider at the moment. But this will (pun intended) be helpful to check back on while helping to set up my mom's estate and then my own. And know this: having your budget and tracking accounts up to date in YNAB (and making sure that password is included in LastPass) already gives your future executor a huge leg up. I made a separate budget for my mom's accounts to help her figure out a retirement budget and work with a financial advisor, but also partly so I knew where all of her bank and retirement accounts are located so I could contact them when needed. If you don't want the financial institute in your account name, you can add it in the account notes... and even add the beneficiaries in case you want to quickly see where you might need to make changes as needed. You could even add life insurance policies and such as tracking accounts, so they know quickly where to go to help with funeral expenses.

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