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Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To 4th Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1413312713
ISBN-10: 1413312713
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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!
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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott A. Jefferis on January 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book thru Amazon in June 2006 because of my experiences working with a close friend who had just lost his father rather unexpectedly. My friend faced a monstrous task of trying to track down his father's assets, business records, last will, credit accounts, etc. just to scratch the surface. As a participant in his frustration, I began to think about the arrangement of my personal life and how my loved ones would tend to my estate.

"Get It Together" brings so much to the table to deal with. I think most people refuse to face their mortality and the task of making such arrangements, let alone there really is a large volume of papers, decisions, conversations, and organization to be handled. GIT is very thorough in all topic areas (see Table of Contents). The book discusses the emotions involved with each topic area, numerous websites to obtain additional information, what to get a copy of, keeping the info current and arranging your "estate" or life, for that matter, to benefit those close to you.

My parents or other people I look up to would never or be highly uncomfortable discussing these topics in detail. This book is perfect to compensate for the lack of those conversations. Now, just a warning for those willing to purchase and conform to this book. I was quite diligent in following all their instructions and recommendations to the "t". It took longer than expected, about 12 weekends, until I had gathered and organized everything to my satisfaction and I don't have a wife, kids or other complicated situations...just me alone.

But I have such a peace of mind that my successors will have no trouble making decisions or tracking down stuff because it's all there with explicit directions from me.
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Format: Paperback
My mother died suddenly and left her estate in a total mess. I was left shocked, grief-stricken and alone in struggling to make sense of what needed to be done. I wouldn't wish that ordeal on anyone let alone on those I love. This workbook and companion organizer is the perfect solution. Nothing will be left to guesswork if I am incapacitated or dead. It is thorough yet simply organized and written from a compassionate perspective. It is a gift of love to provide this kind of direction to those who must make decisions on your behalf.
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Format: Paperback
Melanie Cullen has approached a very difficult topic with insight and compassion. Starting with the Letter to Loved Ones, Health Care Directives, Funeral and Memorial Services, through various chapters on the disposition of assets - including Pets and Livestock - she offers helpful guidance in a straightforward, friendly manner. Whether you already have everything together or haven't a clue where to start, "Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To" is an excellent guide that will make it easier for your loved ones to help in the event that you are incapacitated, or to manage your estate when you are gone. The forms in the book and on the CD can be easily organized and updated in the companion Planner. A must read for everyone!
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Format: Paperback
This book is the most comprehensive I have yet to find. The chapter by chapter, step by step instructions are easy to follow. When you have finished filling out the attached forms in the book (and the included cd) you will have given your loved ones invaluable information needed in an emergency or death and saved them endless hours of hunting valuable information.

We have not only purchased and used this book for ourselves, but have given a copy of the book to each of our children so that they may fill out their information to aid their families.
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Format: Paperback
I've recently retired and am looking forward to years of "re-engaging" with activities I haven't had time to focus on during all those years of full-time work and rearing children. Get it Together is exactly what I needed to provide essential background information and help me organize all the documentation I want my family to have. Now I can travel and do the things I've been looking forward to without worrying about whether my children will be able to figure out what I would have wanted them to know in case something should happen to me.

Get it Together has given me an entree to discuss things with my children and to encourage them to do their own planning for the future.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best choice for me, full of paper forms to make you think of things that you need to do or could do to help those that have to take care of your stuff. Supposed to be able to download forms to fill out from web site, but have not tried that yet! Good investment, worth the price.
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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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