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"Money Matters"
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                                            "Money Matters" with Dee Lee

One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. You don’t need to worry about presents or fancy decorations or cards. Just family and friends who may be part of our family getting together to share a meal. Albeit a very large meal that may take days to prepare and about 30 minutes to consume if you include dessert.

USA Today had in interesting snapshot on people’s favorite part of Thanksgiving; Family 40%, Leftovers 33%, Turkey, 15%, football 11% shopping 2%. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Family and leftovers are definitely the best part of this day for me! And I for one will not be going anywhere near the malls that weekend.

November also celebrates National Family week which is Thanksgiving week and it celebrates strong families. So I thought this would be an opportune time to talk about families and money. Most families would much rather talk about football though.

Some life lessons here. Do you know where all the important papers of your life are? If something should happen to you, do your children, your parents, your spouse, your partner, or your sister know where all the important stuff is kept?

This is not just a problem for the elderly. Having someone in your life who can access your important stuff is crucial at every age. And is your important stuff organized and filed so they can find it? You don’t want them to have to ransack your home looking for your important papers.

What about a list of the important people and their phone numbers and addresses. For example, you live in Florida and your son lives in Virginia. If something should happen to him do you have his friends’ phone numbers, his next-door neighbor’s number? A list of the important people in his life. His doctor? Does he have that information for you? You may never need it, but (and buts are always big), if it’s ever needed……..

Now consider what would happen if you had an accident in Virginia while visiting for Thanksgiving and needed someone in Florida to find your important documents. Could you tell them exactly where to find them? Could they pay the bills while you convalesced in Virginia?

Have you done your estate planning? A recent survey finds that only 40% of Americans have wills. If you don’t have a will the state you reside in when you die has one prepared for you by state law.

Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney and have you signed a Health Care Advance Directive with a living will? These are important documents. A power of attorney allows someone to act on your behalf legally and financially if you should be become incapacitated.

A Health Care Directive allows someone to make medical decisions for you if you are not able to make those decisions.

Take care of the important stuff to protect you and your family this Thanksgiving.