A Legal Checklist – Issues to Consider Every Year

What to Put on Your Legal Checklist

 

Legal Checklist

It is important to take stock of legal matters each year. A checklist can help you stay organized.

The start of the year is a good opportunity to take a look at the important legal matters that have shaped your life over the last 12 months and take stock of any matters that need your attention.  The following is a summary of issues to assist you in resolving your 2016 legal issues and get you ready to face any changes coming your way in 2017.  We hope using this checklist will ease your mind and bring you comfort that you are ready to take on the new year:

  • Have you made a will?
    • Do you need to update an existing will?
    • Are you satisfied with the choices you’ve made for your estate and arrangements for your children should you pass away unexpectedly? If this year has taught us anything, it’s the necessity for Estate Planning in such uncertain times.
    • Do you have a Power of Attorney or do you know someone who needs a Power of Attorney?  With an ever aging population of Baby Boomers, it is very helpful to plan ahead and have the authority to make changes when the time comes.
    • Do you have a living will or know someone who needs one?  Don’t let your health care decisions be made by others.  Take control of your own destiny.  A living will can provide you peace of mind that your medical care will be handled your way.
  • Check your beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies, investment accounts, and retirement accounts.  Make sure that you know who is entitled to money should you pass away.
  • Check your W4.  Do you want to keep the same exemptions in 2017 that you had in 2016?  A marriage, divorce, or death can change things.
  • Gather your tax documents and be ready to take on the 2016 tax season.
  • Do you need to change the title of a car or home or other property?  Marriage, divorce, and death can require changes.
  • Now is a good time to review your auto, home, health, life or other insurance policies to make sure you have the appropriate coverage.  Do you have any balance left in your Health Savings Account?  Do you have the proper selections you want for 2017?
  • When was the last time you got a credit report?  Make sure you know everything the creditors know.
  • Are you saving for college?  Are you interested in putting money aside but don’t know how to get started?  Now could be a good time to look into a PA 529 and its tax benefits.
  • Are you getting married this year?  Are you getting divorced?  A pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreement can help simplify the future and give you peace of mind.

Conclusion

Remember, you should consider your legal checklist each year. If you find you need assistance, do not hesitate to contact our firm. Since 1962,  Hoffmeyer & Semmelman  has taken pride  in educating the public.  We are  always grateful for the opportunity  to  proactively assist  with the  legal needs of our clients.

 

By:  Katharine S. Marteny, Support Professional

Reviewed by:  James G. Keenan, Esquire

© Copyright by Hoffmeyer & Semmelman LLP,  January 2017

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katharine (Katie) Marteny recently joined the staff of Hoffmeyer & Semmelman, LLP as a Support Professional in the Family Law Division.   Katie earned a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management from the Pennsylvania State University and obtained a Juris Doctor from Temple University Beasley School of Law.   Katie  Marteny is a talented and welcome addition to staff.