what do I do with all of this paperwork?

Most households have a ton of paperwork- such as mail, kids’ homework, memories, important documents, etc.

I felt the amount of paperwork after my husband passed away tripled in size! What in the world? Are you kidding me?! I already couldn’t concentrate- what am I supposed to do with all of these documents and everything?!

Luckily, my husband had everything organized in one file cabinet. This made it much easier to cope with a very emotional and stressful situation. It still was a very long process, but much easier that I didn’t have to find or order special documents.

What I learned is now I need to get my own financial papers and documents in order once again and I highly suggest everyone does.

When you have people ask what they can do to help, delegate some of this paperwork to them. Each of my siblings took on one task. One contacted a lawyer, helped with the will, and did probate for me. One contacted my mortgage company, and another the credit card companies. My father-in-law helped with life insurance. My best friend helped me with thank you notes. It went on and on and I am so grateful for all of their help lifting this piece of the burden. I found out that death is not fun, but PAPERWORK may be one of the worst parts. I still have things I have to deal with and it has been years!

I had a couple of angels come to my home a few days a week for months – my Dad and Mom. They helped me with all of the paperwork that was left over; utility bills, loans on cars, a line of credit, etc. My mom was my new secretary and was on the phone each day for hours. She screened my calls so I only had to talk to those that were the most important. This helped me more than anything to emotionally get through the first months! Some of this paperwork I really had no idea what to do with. I didn’t have the mindset to figure it out- I could barely read a paragraph of Dr. Seuss. My parents would just dig into it and figure it out for me.

Listed are some things you may want to consider€¦

~ Consult a lawyer- even if you decide not to hire one. Having a lawyer will help you with probate and other things. Sometimes in the long run, the money you pay an attorney who handles wills, trusts, and estates, will save you thousands of dollars because they are professionals and have done this many times. They will help settle the estate and avoid liabilities. Consider interviewing a few of them to find the best fit for you or at least get some advice.

~ Collect and/or order documents:

~ Notify people: READ MORE

~ Create a new will: READ MORE

~Write down your passwords. I never could get into some of my husband’s computer programs or accounts.

~Watch out for people who prey upon those who have lost a loved one. It’s hard to believe but people watch for death notices and try to collect money or burglarize the home, but it does happen.

~Some things come up for years and years. 5 years out I applied for a credit card. It came back that I was deceased. I laughed because I obviously was very much alive talking to the lady at the store. BUT it took more than one year to figure out where this was coming from. Finally, a bank found my husband and I had been on a line of credit together and when it was closed, we had both been labeled as €œdeceased€.

~My name was not on the mortgage of our home and I thought since we had a will and I was the beneficiary, it would be put in my name. My lawyer had my name on the deed easily. I found out I had to pay a $2,000 fee to have it added or refinance it, so it could be put into my name. Neither of those options was awesome. The mortgage company would not talk to me because I was not the mortgage holder or executor of the will. Stuff like this drove me crazier than I already was!

Now is a great time to get organized if you haven’t already. You can simply get a box and buy a few file folders and start writing things at the top and file all of this paperwork. ~ Try it- You’ll like it!