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Estate Planning Organization

"The Importance of Safeguarding Your Vital Information: Tips for Protecting Your Personal Data"


Woman sleeping on a pile of paperwork on her desk.

Introduction

We've all heard peculiar tales of safeguarding valuables—money stashed in mayonnaise jars, or jewelry hidden under trash can liners. While these anecdotes might elicit a chuckle, the underlying message is clear: without proper planning, valuable possessions could end up lost or discarded.

Digital Security

Picture this: If something were to happen to you today, would your loved ones know where to find crucial documents outlining your wishes and assets? Even those tucked away in unconventional spots like mayonnaise jars or coffee cans in the garage?

Paper Documents

It's a question that demands attention, and the answer hinges on your organization system—whether paper-based, digital, or a mix of both.

Digital Age Concerns

In today's digital age, securing digital information takes precedence. Backing up your files becomes paramount, considering the risks of computer crashes, data corruption, and the looming threat of identity theft.

A Cautionary Tale

However, merely having a "Cloud" account isn't foolproof and it is just the first step. It's essential to understand what's stored there and routinely check it. I once had a client who believed she had her files backed up online, only to discover her account was empty when her computer crashed. She had signed up for the account but failed to select the files needed for backup, leaving her with an empty account when she needed it most.

The Importance of Paper Documents

While digital record-keeping gains popularity, certain paper documents remain indispensable. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other critical papers require thoughtful consideration and secure storage. What's your plan for safeguarding these vital documents? Knowing what documents you have and where to find them in times of need can be a lifesaver.

Accessibility Matters

But let's say your family locates these documents—how will they access them? Are they tucked away in a locked cabinet, home safe, or safety deposit box? The accessibility details matter. Advanced directives, such as living wills and healthcare proxies, add another layer of complexity. Without these documents, your healthcare wishes might go unfulfilled.

Financial Considerations

Managing monthly bills and financial matters poses another challenge. Whether it's digital or paper statements, automatic payments, or Power of Attorney considerations, careful planning is essential. And when it comes to estate planning files prepared by an attorney, the complexity only intensifies. Do your loved ones know where to find these crucial documents in the event of your passing?

If You Fail to Prepare

Imagine this scenario: your family, unaware of your will, trust, or funeral plans, embarks on a frantic search through your home. Every closet, drawer, and box becomes fair game, potentially overlooking critical documents. If you have a safe deposit box, accessing it may require a court order, adding time and stress to an already difficult situation.

Peace of Mind

Planning for unforeseen circumstances—be it illness, disability, or death—can offer peace of mind to you and your family. Ensuring that the right people know where to find important information, can access your estate planning documents, and honor your healthcare wishes is a priceless gift to your loved ones.

Announcement:

Beyond the Estate Plan's "Done and Documented Course" is Now Live.

Looking for comprehensive guidance on organizing and securing your vital documents? Dive into our new course designed to empower you every step of the way. Beyond the Estate Plan is here to support you in safeguarding what matters most.

Let's start today and navigate this journey together.




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Beyond the Estate Plan is the creation of Judith Guertin. Her passion is helping families organize and document their affairs to help everyone be prepared for the unexpected. Beyond The Estate Plan offers you the information you need to find, store, and locate your estate planning documentation, from a guide chocked full of checklists, documents, and advice, to helpful seminars, and even a membership community filled with others facing the same situations as you. Get as much or as little estate planning documentation help as you need with Beyond the Estate Plan and get peace of mind for you and your family.

Judith Guertin. Owner & Author

Judith Guertin is a renowned author, and a Professional Organizer and Productivity Specialist helping clients document, save, and share vital information. Her background as an occupational therapist and a professional organizer, allow her to share a wealth of knowledge about how to create and maintain order for everything in your life – including your estate plan. When tragedy struck her life with the unexpected loss of her mother in 2001, she found her calling to help others avoid the complications that can accompany a tragic loss through proper advanced planning.

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