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After several years of researching organizing products for myself and using them in my work, I have found that those listed below are of particular value in terms of education and guidance in providing structure to the organizing process of getting vital documents in order. The products and publications in this Products Section are listed for your convenience, and have been proven to be most helpful regardless of whether you are tackling a project on your own or working with a professional organizer. Some of the links on this page may contain an affiliate code or a direct link to the provider meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase the product as a result of clicking on that link. This disclosure is made in accordance with the honesty and ethical standards that are intrinsic to this business.

The Vital Records PortaVault by Securita

The Vital Records PortaVault™ organizes all of your important records and documents for daily use and future planning.  An added benefit is that it eliminates time and frustration when locating vital documents in the event of an emergency—you are literally ready to "grab and go."  Many clients have found it useful as a central repository for an ailing or aging relative's documents when several family members are involved in a "share the care" situation.

Get It Together
Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To
By Melanie Cullen with Shae Irving, J.D. 

Whether you need to organize records for yourself, your family or your executor, Get It Together shows you how by providing easy, straightforward instructions to help you keep track of:  instructions for survivors; secured places and passwords; final arrangements; estate planning documents; employment records; insurance policies; tax records; retirement accounts; government benefits, and, real estate records.  This combination guide and workbook provides a complete system for structuring a records binder and easily organizing it for your loved ones.  You can either fill out the pages in the workbook section or download the forms from the CD-ROM and complete them on your computer.

The Executor's Guide
Settling A Loved One's  Estate or Trust
By Mary Randolph, J.D.

The Executor's Guide is an excellent resource for understanding the details of estates and trusts whether they be your own or that of a loved one.  You learn what must be done right away and what can wait. It explains how to:  prepare for the job of executor or trustee; claim life insurance, Social Security and other benefits; make sense of a will; what to do if there is no will; determine whether probate is necessary; care for children and their property; file taxes; deal with family members; handle trusts; look up your state's laws; work with lawyers, appraisers, accountants and other experts.  There is information on dealing with online accounts, as well as tables outlining key points of each state's laws, the latest information on estate taxes, and worksheets that help you stay organized and on track.

The Trustee's Legal Companion
By Liza Hanks, J.D. and Carol Elias Zolla, J.D.

Wrapping up the affairs of a deceased loved one is a big task that can be stressful and confusing.  The Trustee’s Legal Companion shows you exactly how to proceed, keeping in mind the legal, personal and practical aspects of administering a living trust—all within the terms of the trust and your state's law.  The guide outlines how to proceed once you're named as a trustee, including handling paperwork, keeping beneficiaries informed, deciding when and if to call in professionals, and how to work with them once they've been hired.

FreedomFiler Maintenance-Free Home Filing System

FreedomFiler® is a self-purging home filing system that eliminates the need to clean out and reorganize files while dramatically reducing the time and energy required to file and to retrieve papers.  FreedomFiler® label kits provide color-coded label inserts and instructions that enable you to set up a relatively maintenance-free filing system suited to your needs.

How to Say It to Seniors:  Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders by David Solie, M.S., P.A.

Geriatric psychology expert David Solie discusses the issues of seniors' struggles with holding on and letting go as well as their sense of legacy and the need to be remembered.  By sharing his insights into the later stages of life, Solie helps in understanding the unique perspective of seniors, and offers strategies for communicating with older adults.

My Mother, Your Mother:  Embracing "Slow Medicine," the Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones by Dennis McCullough, M.D.

“Slow Medicine” advocates for careful anticipatory “attending” to an elder’s changing needs rather than waiting for crises that force acute medical interventions—an approach that improves the quality of elders’ extended late lives without bankrupting their families financially or emotionally.