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Start the new year by getting legal affairs organized

Many people in the Kent area know how important estate planning is and many have even created one. This is a wonderful way to make sure an estate is passed to the next generation with few problems. But it is also important to make sure an estate plan is organized.

When a person passes away, often the family has no idea how many bank accounts, retirement accounts and financial accounts the deceased may have. They may have an idea that their loved one had a bank account and owned some property, but the details may not be clear. This can make it complicated, frustrating the family left behind. An amazing gift to loved ones can be an organized start to the new year.

Personal information should be stored in fireproof filing cabinet or safe. The information that should be organized and stored in that location include contact information for friends, doctors and clergy members, along with professional contact such as financial advisors, lawyers, insurance agent and other important contacts.

Personal documents should include social security card, military discharge papers and birth and marriage certificates. Places that are securely protected should have their password written down, including computers, bank accounts, security system and the safe combination.

Legal documents should also be organized and stored in the same location. These would include a will, trust, advance health care directives and power of attorney. All financial accounts should be noted, along with debts, benefits, property information, insurance, life insurance and tax records. The gift of an organized estate will benefit a person's heirs and give a family peace of mind.

Source:, "Tips on how to make organizing your personal, financial affairs easy," Jim Miller, Dec. 31, 2016

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To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

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