Ugh! Paperwork

It’s the time of year when we need to start getting our tax documents together.  We’re all, or most of us are, getting ready to either prepare our taxes or meet with a CPA to have them prepare them for us.  Fun times!  

April 15th, the deadline to file taxes, is only two months away.  Even though that sounds like a lot of time, it goes quickly.  Also, remember that if you’re using an accountant, they are probably wanting you to get your appointment on the calendar now as they’re getting booked up.

I know NOBODY looks forward to preparing or paying taxes but, we all have to do it.     Good thing is, tax time does not have to be stressful!  If you have your financial documents together things will be soooo much easier.  So, if you’re not organized this year and you’re stressing over it, why not get your sh*t together now.  This would be the time!

As a quick reminder, paperwork is one of my specialties. Having spent 30 years in the legal industry as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal before starting OCD, I can implement a filing system tailored to your needs.  I can go through your files or piles and make sense of them.  I can gather up the information/documentation needed for your CPA to file your taxes.   I know the IRS retention guidelines and know what to keep, what to shred, what to archive and what to toss.   If you need help, please give me a call.

While you’re dealing with paperwork, this is also a great time to review your important documents to make sure everything is up to date. Think of it as Financial Spring Cleaning. This is the perfect opportunity to make sure that your legal and financial documents are in order.



When was the last time you looked at your insurance policies?  Do you understand your coverage?  When was the last time you had your insurance policies reviewed?

It’s a good idea to have all of your insurance policies reviewed annually.  Get quotes to make sure you’re properly covered and that your rates are competitive.

More importantly, if you’ve gotten married, divorced or had children you might want to consider changing/updating your beneficiaries.


Estate Plan:

Do you have an Estate Plan?  When was the last time you updated your Trust and/or Will?

If you already have a Trust or Will in place, talk to your attorney every few years to make sure that everything is up to date.  Laws change and your estate needs to be updated accordingly. 

Further, if you’ve married, divorced, had children since you initially had your Estate Plan done, these documents need to be updated.  I’m sure you wouldn’t want your ex to inherit your assets or make important decisions about your healthcare if and when necessary.  These big life events are emotionally charged and making changes can slip through the cracks.  This is a gentle reminder.

If you don’t have an Estate Plan and have property and/or children, you might want to consider meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney.  Otherwise, your heirs will have to go through probate which is both costly and time consuming. 

Further, most people don’t know this BUT, if you have a child that is 18 or over, they SHOULD have a Health Care Directive in place.  Even if your child still lives with you or is in college and you support them, you do NOT have the right to make decisions about their healthcare unless you are the designated person on their Health Care Directive once they attain the age of 18.


Retirement Plan:

Do you have a 401K or other Retirement Plan in place?  Perhaps you forgot to roll over your Retirement Plan from a prior employer. 

Do you have any investments? Consider meeting with a financial planner to make sure that your investments are sound.  Again, things change and your portfolio may need to be re-allocated.   

If you’ve gotten married or divorced or had children you might want to consider changing your beneficiaries or the amount allocated to your beneficiaries.

I know paperwork is tedious. I also know that many people avoid it because they don’t really know what to do with it all.   If you need assistance, please give us a call.  We would love to help! 

Finally, if you need a referral to an Insurance Agent, CPA, Estate Planning Attorney or Financial Advisor, we would be happy to refer you to the right professional.

Top 5 Tips To Help You Deal With Paper

organize office and deskOne of the biggest organizing challenges for most people, at least those who hire us, is with paperwork. After doing this kind of work for 10 years, it seems that the common denominator is that most people don’t know what to do with paper. They don’t know where or how to file it or how long to keep it. As a result, people keep paperwork much longer than they need to. Then, when they run out of space, the overflow winds up in piles, in bags or boxes. 


The IRS has a paper retention guideline that you can use if you’re not sure whether you need a document or not. Here’s the link to their website:


The truth is, there’s only so many options when it comes to handling paper, “the right way”.  A filing system doesn’t need to be complicated.  It just needs to work for you. There is no right or wrong way. 

So, here’s a few tips to keep your paperwork under control and, hopefully organized. Disclaimer: These are a few examples-not a comprehensive list.


  1. TOSS:
  • Anything you don’t want or need
    • Solicitations, flyers, catalogues


  1. SHRED:
  • Documents that have your personal information (ie, an account number, birthdate, social security number, driver’s license number) 
    • Note: Your address does not count as that is available to the public
  • All credit card offers
  • Applications
  • Expired credit cards
  • Old checks from closed accounts


  • Anything that you need but don’t need access to currently
    • Old tax returns
    • Legal files that are closed/settled (ie, Divorce records)
    • Documents that pertain to the purchase or sale of property

Please refer to the link above to determine how long these documents need to be kept


  1. SCAN:
  • If you’re attempting to go paperless make sure you have a system so that you can find these documents when you need them
    • A good rule of thumb is to have your scanned documents filed on your computer the same way they are filed (labeled) in your physical file



    • To Do: Papers that you need to make a call about. It could be a bill you’re disputing
    • To Pay: Bills that need to be paid
    • To Read: Articles of interest
    • Events: Tickets or invites
    • Follow up: Items that you are waiting for. For example, you already made a call and spoke to someone about an issue with a bill and now you’re waiting for a response.

 If you need some help, please give us a call.  We will help you implement a system tailored to your specific needs.