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Record keeping

Creating a road map for your family

We all dream of a day when we will have our records in order. Yet many of us have our critical documents scattered, incomplete, or out-of-date. A medical emergency or unexpected death would leave our family unprepared to cope. You can prevent a scavenger hunt for documents if you create a roadmap for your family.

Is your record keeping up to date? Download our quiz to find out.

A cautionary tale: The Executors

An elderly widow of modest means died after a short illness. She had hastily done a will and chosen executors. However, she did not leave instructions about her intentions or the location of her assets.

When she died, her executors were not prepared. Nothing was organized. The mail and other documents such as bank statements were piled in the kitchen and in the dining room and in the bedroom.

They discovered the house was filled to the rafters—with canned goods to sewing kits to clothes to stationery—and hardly a place to sit down. Jewelry was hidden around the house and a diamond ring had rolled under the bed.

The executors took months to clear out the house and settle the estate. Things could have been easier if only the widow had created a roadmap.

Create a roadmap for your family today.

Review records regularly

You should review your record keeping whenever you have a major life event. Major life events include:

  • Birth
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Home purchase
  • House move
  • Down-sizing
  • Job change
  • Job loss
  • Change in finances
  • Death.

At a minimum, you should review your record keeping once a year. You can tie your review to a personal event such as a

  • Birthday
  • Anniversary

or an event on everyone’s calendar such as

  • New Year’s Day
  • Income Tax Filing Day—you will have gathered many of your records!
  • Back to School.
AMY PRASKAC

PO Box 300457
Austin, TX 78703
512-371-3624