Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting Organized


by Karen Saley/Extension Specialist

Getting your important papers organized can be a daunting task. It will take a little time and patience but it will be well worth it in the long-run. How do you know if you need to organize your record? Ask yourself these questions.

Do you have easy access to all of your receipts and paid bills for the last six months?
Do you know where your insurance policies are and what they cover?
Do you have a list of people who are your important financial contacts, such as tax advisor, attorney, broker, banker, and human resource officer at work?
If you become incapacitated, how easy would it be for other members of your family to figure out your filing system and gain access to your records?

Keeping good records will come in handy during a crisis, when a major life change takes place, at tax time, or just when you need to review them while establishing your financial goals.

Here are a few ways to keep your records organized.

Make once person the lead in the process
File papers on a regular schedule (once a week, twice a month, etc.)
Have a designated work area

Now you may be asking “which papers do I keep and where do I keep them?”

There are about 40 different types of papers you should consider keeping for a number of years. Some you will want to keep handy in your home files, others you will want to keep in a safe deposit box and still others you may want a copy held by a family member or attorney. Attached is a list of important papers and an example of where or with who may want to store them.

Remember; be persistent in getting your records organized. You will be making life much easier for yourself and anyone who would have to take over for you in an emergency.


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