When you were a kid, how did you feel this time of year? When the summer was over and a new school year was lurking around the corner. Were you excited to catch up with old friends and see who was in your classes? Or were you a little sad and anxious, wishing you had another month of summer? Probably a bit of both.
Even as an adult, it’s hard to escape that back-to-school feeling. You want to be on a beach but you know it’s time to focus and get work done. This isn’t a bad thing. If vacations never ended then how could we look forward to our next one?
Regardless of your age, to respect this time-honored back-to-school tradition we’ve got an assignment to help you face reality and get organized once and for all! So load up your Scooby-Doo lunchbox, grab your kitten-themed Trapper Keeper and toss it in your Batman backpack because class is in session. (We also really dig your colorful retro style.)
To keep this simple we’re categorizing the world into two groups: People with kids under 18 and people without. In our actual Everplan we get a lot more specific, but we don’t want to overwhelm you on the first day of school.
People With Kids Under 18
Choose one (Note: This isn’t a interactive quiz, but you can pick one in your head. Or touch your screen if it makes you feel better...even though it won’t do anything except leave a smudge.)
- If something were to happen to me tomorrow, my family, while very sad, would continue on without much of a problem because I’m completely organized.
- If something were to happen to me tomorrow, my family, while very sad, would be completely screwed.
Things you need to do to move from screwed to super organized:
- Named a guardian(s) for minor children [Learn More: How To Choose A Guardian For Minor Children Or Dependents]
- Have an up-to-date Life Insurance policy [Learn More: All You Need To Know About Life Insurance]
- Let all your medical decisions be known. [Learn More: Get an Advance Directive, which is your Living Will and Health Care Proxy snuggled together in a neat little package; Find and download your State's Advance Directive Form here]
- Neatly organize all your household accounts, vehicle information, and important papers so even a stranger could understand them. This means the bills will still be paid and the power will stay on. [Learn More: All You Need To Know About Organizing Important Documents]
- Document and share where you keep your passwords and all those priceless photos and videos you've taken of the family so they won't disappear into a digital void. [Learn More: How To Create A Digital Estate Plan]
People Without Kids Under 18
Choose one (Again, please do it in your head.)
- If something were to happen to me tomorrow, my friends and family, while sad, would be able to close out my estate within a reasonable amount of time.
- If something were to happen to me tomorrow, my friends and family, while sad, would have to spend the next year unraveling the mess I’ve left behind. Their sadness will probably turn to frustration. Sorry!
Things you need to do to keep your family and loved ones from cursing you beyond the grave:
- Create an Advance Directive so the burden of medical decisions falls on you and not them. [Learn More: All You Need To Know About Advance Directives]
- Complete a Will so everyone knows what to do with your money and stuff. [Learn More: All You Need To Know About Creating A Will]
- Make arrangements for pets so those furry loveballs aren’t left behind and forgotten. [Learn More: How To Make Sure Your Pets Are Taken Care Of After You’re Gone]
- Organize financial info so services currently on autopay don’t stay that way until your credit card expires or your checking account runs dry. [Learn More: A Helpful List Of Important Insurance And Financial Documents]
- Let people know what you want done with your body: Bury, Cremate or Donate? [Learn More: How To Pre-Plan Your Funeral]
How’d you do on our fake quiz? It doesn't really matter. What matters is that you start the work-year off right by actually getting this stuff done. That’s why we’re here. Enough talk, let’s do this!