New Book Offers Simple Advice for ‘Getting Affairs in Order’
Do you or your loved ones have your affairs in order in case of death? Does someone know where to find important documents or know your final wishes should your life end unexpectedly?
Author Karen O’Neil, founder of Getting Affairs in Order, has written a new workbook called “A Guide to Getting Affairs in Order” to help people confront these questions with solutions that can alleviate the burden of emotional stress to family and friends during a difficult time.
O’Neil’s workbook explores wills, living trusts, birth certificates, adoption certificates, marriage licenses, military records, discharge papers, passports, death certificates, Social Security cards, property deeds, tax records, bank accounts, annuities, stocks and bonds, life insurance and real estate holdings. It also addresses preparing paperwork, Power of Attorney and other important details that can provide a family with peace of mind knowing the appropriate arrangements are in place.
O’Neil recommends consulting an attorney who specializes in estate planning to determine whether a will, a living trust, or nothing at all is best for an individual. A will names a trusted person or persons to carry out the deceased individual’s wishes. A living trust follows suit, but also provides options for tax planning and avoids probate.
She also advises that everyone have an Advance Health Care Directive completed with a designated person knowing its whereabouts. This form instructs doctors and family members as to what kind of medical treatment and life prolonging procedures you want in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself. An Advance Health Care Directive can relieve family members of the burden of making speculative decisions during a potentially overwhelming time.