Have you or your wife/husband ever said that?  I know I have.  As a matter of fact, I found myself saying it several times recently as I worked to clean up the disaster area that is my workspace at home.  I was trying to find some tax information and found myself sifting through brokerage statements, insurance statements, automobile repair receipts (yes, I keep those), my (living will, trust, power of attorney) estate planning documents, and many other documents that are vital to our family (ok, maybe the auto receipts are not).  All of these documents were lumped together in a pile, which made the task tedious and very frustrating.  So, I began putting them in their own folders and filing them in the safe.  After a decent amount of time passed, I gave up on that as well, realizing that it was taking away from what little time I had to spend with my family.

A couple of days later I was thinking about how 2010 is almost upon us and how a new year gives us a blank slate and a fresh start, in many respects.  Many people develop “New Year’s Resolutions” to lose weight, become a better person, give more to charity, spend more time with their family, and many other admirable goals.  What about getting our financial and legal life in order?  What would that entail?  Knowing that many families have the same mess of legal and financial documents that caused my recent frustration, I thought it would be a good opportunity to help others (and myself) start the year of right by getting their legal and financial life in order.

To help Grand Rapids families in this endeavor, I am “super sizing” my Family Wealth Planning Session and adding in a Whole Family Wealth Audit.  And the best part for you is that I am waiving the usual fee for this session for those families who schedule their Whole Family Wealth Audit and Family Wealth Planning Session in January (a $1,250 value!).  Why am I doing this?  My recent experience with document frustration and my passion for helping growing families provide and protect what matters most to them (family and finances) and ensure they make the best legal and financial decisions throughout their lives.  Although you could do this anytime throughout the year, there is something refreshing about getting it done at the beginning, so you can benefit from it for the rest of the year (and the years to come).  And the best part is that all you have to do is bring the documentation with you.  I will organize the Family Financial Freedom Notebook as we talk about the importance of the various items.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!

In the planning session I will go above and beyond my usual education about what would occur if something happened to you, how to name guardians and protect/provide for your children, how to preserve, protect, and grow your financial assets, and how to pass on your intangible assets (values, insights, stories, and experiences).  You will also walk away with a Family Financial Freedom Notebook designed to organize all your family’s important legal and financial documents.  If you already have legal documents, insurance policies, financial plans and/or tax strategies in place, we’ll review all of it to make sure everything is set up the right way.  And if you don’t, we’ll make sure you leave with a roadmap for everything you and your family need for total peace of mind.  I have already discovered the value of getting this level of organization put in place as I’ve created my own Family Financial Freedom Notebook, and I look forward to helping you with yours as well.

If you agree that this would be a great way to start off your new year and ensure your family has planned and prepared for the years to come, call our office to schedule your January planning session at (616) 827-7596.  Make sure to mention this blog post to get the planning session fee completely waived (NO COST!).  Due to demand and limited availability, we are offering this on a first-come, first-served basis, and we are limiting them to the first 10 people who call.  I look forward to helping your family in what I’m sure will prove to be a great 2010!