The Blog Introduction

Posted February 11, 2015

The intent of this feature is to provide additional help on topics of interest to you. This could include discussion on:
  • Techniques of discussing the sensitive issue of estate planning with your parents or your children,
  • Understanding Identity Theft, precautions you can take, and how to take swift action if needed.
  • Unclaimed/Abandoned Property and the impact of Escheatment on your assets.
  • How to get started, or additional suggestions on organizing your information.
 
Subscribers can not only access our journals, but more importantly suggest relevant topic of interest.

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Reasons for Organizing

Posted February 10, 2015
Category Organize
There are many important reasons for maintaining good records, and a number of related issues. Many of these reasons revolve around protecting yourself and your family:
  • Your information is scattered, and you can’t easily find it when needed quickly. For example,
    • Whenever you meet with accountants or financial planners, they want to know your overall portfolio.
    • If you are or have a college bound student, you need to know the details required in filling out the FAFSA (free application for Federal Student Aid) form.
  • You don't always remember details of your online accounts or passwords.
  • You manage everything but your spouse has no idea of records or holdings; or your spouse manages all the records and you have no idea.
  • Protecting against severe consequences Identity Theft attempts. For additional information, see Understanding Real Identity Theft Understanding REAL Identity Theft. This is more than simple credit card fraud. Learn from a victim’s perspective on precautions you can take in order to rapidly respond and minimize losses.
  • Avoiding the loss of Abandoned Property via Escheatment.  What happens when you lose or forget to cash a check? Did you accidentally forget about an old insurance policy or bank account? Most importantly, did you know you can get it back? For additional information on understanding Escheatment and recovering Unclaimed/Abandoned Property, see Intro to Unclaimed/Abandoned Property.       
  • You're helping a parent or other aging person to organize their records, or
  • You would like your children, partner, custodian, Power of Attorney (POA), or Estate Executor to have a solid grasp of your belongings.
Have you ever served in the role as a Power of Attorney or Estate Executor? Have you been involved or impacted in settling an estate or caring for someone seriously ill? Then you probably already know that during these critical times, you’re often faced with a scavenger hunt to find critical information. It’s better to be prepared for the unexpected.

Also think further about Digital Considerations. We are all First Generation in using personal computers. An issue that hasn’t come into the forefront is technology from your survivor’s perspective. It’s hard enough for you to remember the accounts and passwords for your online shopping, your electronic banking and automatic bill payments, direct deposits/pay stubs, investment accounts… But what if you were incapacitated – how can you possibly expect others to find all of this information and manage your affairs?

So in conclusion, one last question: When was the last time you Backed-up Your Brain?
 
Your Next Step: Organize!
Now that you’ve convinced yourself of the importance of organizing information, it’s time to get started by remembering three things: What, Where, Who. For additional information on this topic, see our Organizing Primer. If you do nothing else, at least prepare basic lists manually, and let your family know the location. But clearly, it might be beneficial to consider a tool such as a subscription to MyLegacyBackup to guide you through this task, so you can organize your critical financial and personal information into one secure and centrally accessible solution.

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Our Purpose: Your Personal Security

Posted February 9, 2015
Category Security

 
You can never be too careful when securing your personal information. From credit cards to bank books and ownership paperwork to retirement accounts, your hard earned property should stay safeguarded at all times. At MyLegacyBackup, we don't want you to share your information with anyone who is not authorized - we want to provide advice, techniques, and guidance on how to protect yourself and your family from unexpected breaches and emergencies. Check out the Advisor Tips, read our Case Studies, and make sure to keep visiting the blog for more information on how to keep yourself and your loved ones protected when the unexpected occurs. And don't forget to like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more updates and information!

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Organizing Primer

Posted February 9, 2015
Category Organize
 
Since you already recognize the importance of organizing your information, what do you have to do? In his best seller, THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE, Dr. Stephen Covey presents the principle of "Begin With The End In Mind". In the context of our topic, please remember three things: What, Where, and Who.
 
WHAT.  No matter how many times I mention things to my wife and kids, they don’t remember the details. And when someone else tells me about their information, I don’t remember the details, either. We can’t expect others to remember over time without a roadmap of documentation.
Think about all of your critical categories of personal information. Insurance, Bank Accounts, Investments, Wills/POA/Living Wills/Trusts/Custodial/Guardianship documents… In this digital age, what about all of your online accounts and passwords?

WHERE.  So besides documenting the WHAT Details, WHERE is your critical information stored? Can it can be found easily? Knowing WHAT exists is great, but if you don’t know WHERE it is, you still have the second dimension of a scavenger hunt.

WHO.  It all starts by proactively designating someone to manage your affairs, as your POA or Executor, who will be legally acting on your behalf. Now HOW do you tell them? For additional information on this topic, see How To Talk To Others in our The Elephant in the Room blog. Itemize the WHAT and WHERE from the perspective of your designated representative. Again, WHAT would they need to know, and WHERE is the information?

What to do next?
If you do nothing else, at least prepare basic lists manually, and let your family know the location. But clearly, it might be beneficial to consider a tool such as a subscription to MyLegacyBackup to guide you through this task. Our site also has a handy complimentary worksheet for getting started. Why not Try It Free now?

Don’t forget – your personal vault is only as valuable as the information that you've placed inside it...

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Intro to Unclaimed/Abandoned Property

Posted February 8, 2015
Category Property

What happens when you lose or forget to cash a check?
Did you accidentally forget about an old insurance policy or bank account?
Maybe you bought investment property years ago?
Did you know you can easily lose your assets due to state Escheatment Laws if your property is classified as abandoned?
Most importantly, did you know you can get it back?

According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA):
  • 2.5 million claims totaling $2.25 billion returned to rightful owners in 2011 as a result of state unclaimed property program efforts. Amount of average claim was $892.
  • $41.7 billion is waiting to be returned by state unclaimed property programs.
  • Claims can be made into perpetuity in most cases - even by heirs.
  • See www.unclaimed.org/what for additional information

After a certain amount of time passes, your lost assets are classified as abandoned and the payee (employer, bank, corporation, investment firm, etc.) is required to turn that unclaimed property over to the state. Each of the 50 states has separate Escheatment laws dictating how to treat the different types of unclaimed property – payroll and other checks, insurance, banking and investment accounts, etc.

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My Legacy Backup LLC
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
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