Home & Family

5 Legal Tips to Help You Clean Up This Spring

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Sping cleaningWith tax day coming up, you might already be finished with your taxes, or you will be soon. Why not use that momentum to get organized in other areas of your life?  Spring’s the time for a fresh start, so dust off your insurance policy, estate plan, and other essentials. You and your family will benefit all year long by following these five tips this spring.

1.  Adjust your income tax withholding.

So you’ve just filed your taxes.  Are you getting a big refund?  If yes, you might want to decrease the amount of income that your employer withholds from your paycheck throughout the year.  That’s money that you could get in your paycheck throughout the year–it’s kind of like giving the government an interest-free loan.  On the other hand,  if you were caught off guard by a bigger tax payment than you expected,  you can adjust your withholding so you pay more throughout the year and don’t get another unexpected surprise next April. To adjust your withholding, simply complete a new W-4 form and submit it to your employer.

2.  Check your insurance coverage.

How often do you think about your insurance?  For many people, it’s not until something goes wrong and you need it.  A lot can change in a year–maybe you want to increase (or decrease) your coverage or shop around and make sure you’re still getting the best deal.  Whatever the reason, it’s smart to review your insurance coverage at least once a year. Visit out our Insurance Center for more information.

3.  Look at retirement savings progress.

How are you progressing towards your retirement goals?  This is a great time to review how much you saved last year and overall, and see if your savings plan needs to be adjusted.  If you’ve switched jobs recently, don’t forget to roll over your 401k to your new employer’s plan.  Rocket Lawyer has a 401k Rollover Request document that you can use for this purpose.  Don’t procrastinate — when saving for retirement, every penny counts!

4.  Review and update your estate plan.

A great estate plan in 2010 might not be a great estate plan in 2013.  Make sure you review your Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Trust documents every year so you’re prepared for any new laws that have passed recently.  If you don’t, you might get caught paying more taxes on your estate, or unwittingly create inheritance disputes. Visit our Estate Planning Center for more help updating your estate plan.

5. Get a family lawyer.

Having a lawyer who you know and trust can make all the difference when you come up against a legal issue. When looking for an attorney, it’s smart to start out doing something preventative, like creating your estate plan, instead of frantically searching when you need a lawyer in an emergency. We can help you get a free consultation with an attorney in your area, so you’ll have a lawyer by your side whenever you need one.

About Jenny Greenhough

Combining a love of writing and technology, Jenny started her career as a 6-year-old selling dot-matrix birthday banners to her friends. As Content Manager at Rocket Lawyer, Jenny developed online resources to help people find the legal information they need. She earned a B.A. in English literature from the University of Oregon, and an M.A. in film studies from Emory University.
Posted in: Home & Family, Tax & Audits, Wills & Estate Planning
COMMENTS
  1. Evan Guthrie Law Firm says:
    March 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Reviewing and updating an estate plan is an important habit that should done annually or at least every 2-3 years and can encompass the other important updates of retirement, insurance, and taxes.

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