Financial planner Joe Hearn Offers Tips for Organizing Financial and Legal Affairs

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What if something happened to you? Financial Planner Joe Hearn offers practical tips to better organize financial, legal and insurance information and step-by-step guidance as to what families need to do after losing a loved one.

The news headlines are a daily reminder that we live in an uncertain world in which our lives can change suddenly.

If something happened to you, would your grief-stricken loved ones be left behind with an organized, detailed and easy-to-navigate financial roadmap – or would they be left scrambling for answers?

Financial Planner Joe Hearn can provide:

  • Practical tips to better organize financial, legal and insurance information.
  • Step-by-step guidance as to what families need to do after losing a loved one.

Hearn recently co-authored "If Something Happens to Me" ( with attorney Niel D. Nielsen. Hearn describes it this way: "The idea for the book originated with a folder that I had prepared for my wife shortly after we were married." "Because I handled our finances, I realized that if something ever happened to me, she would have a tough time wading through everything. As much as possible, I wanted our legal and financial affairs to be on autopilot so that she would not be forced to make critical decisions at a time when she was still dealing with the grief of loss."

The workbook is designed to prepare families for the unexpected and eliminate problems and expenses that arise when handling a deceased person’s estate. In it you will find:

  • Space to record the details relating to assets, liabilities, insurance, wills and estate plans.
  • Checklist of what to do after losing a loved one.
  • Comprehensive document locator system.
  • Web sites and contact information for key government agencies.
  • Detailed guide to applying for Social Security and other government benefits.
  • Guidance on Durable Powers of Attorney.
  • Professional advice and tips to help organize financial and legal affairs.

The workbook and document organizer help families accomplish three very important things:

1. Save hard-earned money. Attorneys, accountants and financial advisors charge thousands of dollars to organize estates. A good portion of these expenses involve time spent tracking down records of what you own, what you owe, who is in charge and who should receive the property. Completing "If Something Happens to Me" saves families a great deal of that money because everything will be organized.

2. Save those you love a lot of grief. Loss of a loved one is tough enough on a grieving family. Sadly, the pain, stress, aggravation, family quarrels, lost time, and wasted money that result from poor planning can multiply that sorrow. Completing "If Something Happens to Me" helps to clarify communication and lays out a roadmap for families to follow. Putting everything in order before a tragedy will not only simplify things for your family, it will clearly express to them how much you love them.

3. Avoid legal and financial pitfalls. No one is an expert at everything. The wisest people are those who avoid mistakes by knowing when to seek advice. The co-authors have helped hundreds of families put the many pieces of their financial and legal planning in order. That knowledge and experience is built into "If Something Happens to Me" and it is intended to help families succeed in planning and make smart decisions.

Hearn, based in Omaha, Nebraska, has been featured in AARP Bulletin, Bottom Line/Personal, ePregnancy Magazine, and Dow Jones

If you are interested in setting up an interview with Joe - or receiving a review copy of the book - please contact Hearn at (888) 391-4344.


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Michael O'Brien
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