An Encouraging To-Do List For Getting Organized In 2018

Resolutions that can actually last a lifetime.

The problem with resolutions is that they’re often hopes and wishes geared toward fixing things we want to change but never seem to have the time to:

  • Lose weight

  • Quit bad habits

  • Stay in touch with people better

  • Be more adventurous

It can quickly become discouraging when a month or two into the New Year you’re too busy for the gym, still biting your nails, the inbox is full with unread messages, and you’ve yet to plan that vacation zip-lining through the rainforest.

Don’t lose hope! We’re sure you’ll get around to all these endeavors eventually, but how about doing a few things you can easily complete that are important and long-lasting. We’re talking about the basic components of planning.

It’s the perfect time. You’re already excited at the prospect of a new year, so let's make some decisions that’ll benefit you and your family or loved ones for the rest of your life.

1. The Best Medicine Is Often Actual Medicine (Unless You Don’t Want Any)

  • I’ve never filled out an Advance Directive, which is comprised of my Living Will and Health Care Proxy. This lets people know the types of medical treatment I want if something happens to me.


Making your medical decisions known is something you can do right now. Go to our State-By-State Advance Directive Form page, find your state, and follow the instructions.

Why it’s important: Don’t force someone else to make a decision you should make for yourself.

  • I properly filled out an Advance Directive for my state but have no idea where I keep it. My family probably doesn’t know either.

To Do

Stop what you’re doing right now and find it. Seriously. We’ll wait… Still waiting… *watching cute dog video on YouTube* Ok, got it? Good! Now put it somewhere prominent where people can find it.

An Advance Directive isn’t something you want to keep private, like a savings account balance or how much you spent on that snazzy jacket. This document needs to be readily available, otherwise medical professionals won’t follow it.

We suggest putting the location and a scan of it in your Everplan. It’s sorta what we do.

  • I properly filled out my state's Advance Directive form and my family and loved ones can easily locate it in case of an emergency.

I don’t mean to brag, but how can a person not when they’re this awesome?

2. Have A Strong Will

A Will takes care of two important things: It makes sure your assets and spouse/children/dependents (if applicable) end up in the right hands.

Guardian Angels
  • I haven’t named a guardian for underage children, or an adult I’m caring for who has special needs.


Take some time to seriously think about who you'd want to take care of your children if you're not around. If you’re not sure what steps you need to take, please feel free to give us a call for a complete review of your family situation and your Estate Plan.

Why it’s important: You don’t want the courts to decide for you, which they will.

  • I’ve already named a guardian, making me a responsible person.

I have also earned the right to eat as much cake and/or pie as I choose.

Your Money and Stuff
  • I haven’t created a Will but I really need to.


Use our Creating A Will Checklist to get started. Then review all the particulars with us or, if you're in a pinch, do it yourself online on our Web site.

Why it’s important: The same reason you need to name a Guardian. The distribution of your assets should benefit your family and loved ones, not tear them apart.


If you think your family will be fair and reasonable when it comes to distributing your assets, then you need to let them know that you purposefully didn’t create a Will.

Why it’s important: If you don’t tell anyone you never created a Will they could spend the next year, or longer, looking for it. Plus, your Estate will have to go through Probate and unless everyone is in agreement, the court will assign an Executor.

Note: This could lead to more anger and frustration among survivors than if you left all your money and possessions to your pet hamster. Also, keep this in mind: Most Wills are can be completed relatively quickly. It’s something to think about, and you really should contact us for a thorough discussion of your Estate Plan.

  • I’ve created a Will and my family/loved ones know where it is.

This, along with my nature-sounds machine, is why I sleep like a baby every single night.

3. The Safety Net

  • I don’t have any Life Insurance but I really want to get some.

To Do

You might already have some Life Insurance through your job, which is very good, but it’s not as reliable as a standalone policy. (Example: If you switch jobs you lose those benefits.) You probably already have car insurance, health insurance, and home insurance. Schedule some time to talk to an insurance agent to at least get an idea of what to expect.

Why it’s important: If you’re unexpectedly not around to provide for your family, who will?

  • I have Life Insurance, my family knows I have it (probably), but they have no idea where I keep the policy.

To Do

Tell them where you keep the policy! What’s the point in paying all those premiums if no one knows you have it? Do you know how much money is lost each year from unclaimed Life Insurance policies? It’s probably a lot. We could Google it, but who cares about stats when the future of your family could be at stake.

  • I have an up-to-date Life Insurance policy and my family can either easily locate it or know exactly who to contact if something happened to me.

Proof that I’m not only very attractive but responsible and smart as well.