Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fiscal To-Dos

This NYTimes article talks about tackling those pesky financial to-dos that never seem to get finished. The author has extra time on his hands thanks to unpaid leave of 10 days, and decided to use that time to improve his family's fiscal health. Number 6 is "complete a will". The author has made some initial calls to attorneys, and claims that "it will be finished by summer". If you are in a similar situation, keep the following in mind:
  • call a variety of lawyers and ask about pricing. Some charge by the hour, others charge a flat-fee;
  • work with an attorney who specializes in estate planning and probate -- they should be more knowledgeable and more efficient;
  • hire someone you feel comfortable talking with, it is important that you tell this person about your family structure and financial situation -- no matter how difficult either situation is;
  • get recommendations from friends and family who have completed a will, or from a trusted professional you already use (accountant, financial planner, insurance person); and
  • doing a basic will can take between 4 and 6 weeks, depending on how organized you are and if you know who you want to do what (guardian, personal rep, trustee).
Good luck with your to-do list!

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