How to organize your home and finances in your estate

By Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin | Washington Post

My mom just passed away just shy of 105 years of age and her estate is a mess. I don’t want to make the same uninformed errors with my estate, so I need to plan and execute documents for my estate. Can you give me any suggestions?

First of all, our condolences on your loss. Sometimes it takes life-changing events to make us realize the importance of getting our finances and other personal matters in order. We think it’s a great thing for you to realize the need for you to order your estate and plan for the future. There are various underlying matters that come to mind when we hear people talk about getting their estate in order.

We’d like to start with a pretty simple issue that can really cause people trouble. Before we even talk about wills, trusts and other legal documents you might need or want for your estate, we’d suggest you start with your personal effects and personal financial organization. If you think that having an estate well-organized from a legal perspective is all you need, you’re going to fight an uphill battle. You also need to have good organization in your documents and files.