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.
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.
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.