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Being Prepared Means More than Just Batteries and Water

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma should serve as reminders of the importance of protecting financial records as well as homes and personal property.  What are a few of the steps you should take to be prepared to recover quickly from a disaster, large or small?

Insurance — Review all your insurance policies — home, life, health, auto — to make sure you have the right types and levels of coverage.

A will or trust — Review your will and/or living trust to make sure they reflect your family’s needs and your wishes.  Ask your attorney to review the documents periodically to take advantage of all tax-saving strategies and to stay current with state laws.

A living will — You can leave instructions regarding the use of life-sustaining care through a living will or health care power of attorney.  Another document to consider is a durable power of attorney, naming a friend or family member to make financial decisions in your place in the event of disability.

A document inventory — The best will in the world won’t help if it can’t be found when needed.  Compile a list of all your important documents and the location of each.  Include the names, addresses and phone numbers of your advisers.  List insurance policies, bank accounts, brokerage accounts and safe deposit boxes.

Assistance for the charities you support — When reviewing your estate planning documents, consider including a charitable gift in your estate plan or naming us the beneficiary of a financial account.


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