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Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To Paperback – November 3, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1413312713 ISBN-10: 1413312713 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Series: Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have to
  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 4 edition (November 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413312713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413312713
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melanie Cullen holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Following decades in corporate management, she is an independent consultant in management and technology. An avid planner and blue-chip organizer, she lives in Walnut Creek, California, near loved ones who appreciate that her affairs are truly in order.

For more information, please visit GetItTogetherBook.com!

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The second section contains worksheets you can fill in with the relevant information.
Cathy Stucker
Users can easily input information onto the forms or print a blank portable document file (.pdf), and hand-write data.
H. Wang
I know this will book will keep me organized and truly help my family in a big way should I become ill, etc.
Sandra R. Blynn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Avellanet VINE VOICE on December 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let's be clear - this is not a time management book or a guide on how to set up your own family records retention and filing system - this is a book squarely aimed at the head of a household, whether you live on your own or with your family. And it lays out pretty clearly the why: someday you are going to be incapacitated or dead, and you do not want people's thoughts of you to be sullied with frustration running something like "What a mess! Why couldn't he/she put his house in order? Where are the online account passwords? What do you mean that's in the safety deposit box? What safety deposit box?" and so on. This goes beyond estate planning (with its tax issues, and so on) to the crux of being responsible to your family and close friends.

And that's why I like this book. Here are some key points that I found extremely helpful in the book (all of this is to be recorded in the "important records planner" template provided in the book):

- For any program (like a 401(k), IRA, insurance, etc.) that doles out money list the names and SSNs of the beneficiaries and who has decision-making power if you are incapacitated; and who at the program (say your 401(k)) has been your main contact person
- The location of your safety deposit box (if you have one), a list of what *should* be in there, and where the key(s) are kept
- A password and online account list, including the list of security questions/answers (assuming you remember...)
- Location of any contracts or agreements (say for a rented storage area)
- Location of important equipment or household warranties, user manuals, etc.
- List of anyone (or any organization) that depends on you (including their relationship with you, contact information, what you provide and how often, etc.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Walker on October 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The material in this book seems comprehensive. I had to add a few things based on my own personal affairs but in all fairness, the book contemplates personalization. I am, however, disappointed in the digital files. The main reason I wanted a book like this was so I wouldn't have to create digital files myself. The RTFs are not true word processing files so data entry is more tedious than I had expected. The files were not created using a word processor as a form builder. Luckily the tables are true word processing tables so you can key directly into them. (I used MS Word.) The other blanks, however are simple lines and must be deleted as you enter data. There's no page numbering so I had to add that myself. I expected better.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Grits VINE VOICE on December 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the most comprehensive "system" I've seen yet. Not only is there a section for just about anything you can think of, there are things you may not have even thought about including. Having recently gone through estate settlement for one of our parents, we realized just how many things were needed and that needed to be easily accessible. We also realized things we'd want to have had or known, but didn't. It's too late now. But we can leave each other or our children in much better circumstances at a difficult time, just by taking the time to go through this book thoroughly.

Go through the first half of the book thoroughly for information and instructions. Then you'll be ready for the second part of the book - the actual plans-on-paper, customized by and for you. If you haven't already, take a moment to go back to the top of the product page and just read through the Table of Contents. That will give you a great overview of just how comprehensive this book is.

Included is a CD with all of the forms that are in the 2nd half of the book, so you can edit and easily reprint as needed in the future. Also, with the printed forms there will be no problem reading what you've written. The forms are in Rich Text Format (.rtf) so you can open them in almost any word processor and then save them in your preferred format. The book says it can be used by both Windows and Mac, though we can only vouch for the Windows version since we don't have a MAC.

This book will give you peace of mind. It will also make life much easier for those that have to come in after you're gone, as they try to figure out what's where, what you wanted, what you didn't want, and even your thoughts about your loved ones (there's a section to write letters to them).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Adlam TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's finally finished. What I affectionately refer to as my "death notebook" (though it can be used for a number of other personal calamities, not just dying). But getting the notebook together wasn't the easiest thing in the world and, in fact, took over three months to compile and organize. And I'm certain it would have taken much longer if I didn't have 'Get It Together' as a reference.

Let me back up a little and explain that while I haven't personally been in a position to handle the affairs of someone after they've met with disaster or passed away, however, I have firsthand knowledge of how frustrating it can be to those who are left behind. Watching friends and family scrambling to compile estate documents or mitigate debt and a number of other things I didn't understand revealed just how important it is to be prepared. We may not care about it when we're dead and buried, but it's something the living most certainly will. And I wouldn't want to be remembered for the pile of trouble I left them with.

That's where 'Get It Together' steps in. Let me say up front, it's a dry read. Then again, it doesn't need to be all that entertaining as long as it provides the information you need in an easy to digest format, which it does. And it has checklists throughout to ensure you don't miss or overlook anything.

The book explains which documents you need to keep, how long you need to keep them, where you should store them, and how often to update them. It even gave me some ideas I hadn't thought about before, such as writing a good-bye letter to my family members and a master list username/password printout for all my online dealings. The content is general enough for anyone to use, but it's easy to customize to suit your own personal needs.
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