As 2017 Closes, Get Your Legal Life Organized for 2018

The end of the year and the approach of the December holidays is a perfect time to review your personal legal matters, so you can start the new year right.

It’s a great time to look things over with your attorney, from making any needed changes to your will and estate, to reviewing insurance coverages, considering additional charitable gifts for tax purposes and double-checking your credit reports for accuracy.

In this blog post, Saul Langsam, one of the attorneys here at MyPhillyLawyer who has more than 35 years of experience handling wills and estates and family law for clients, shares some of his tips about pertinent legal topics to review with your attorney before the end of the year.

First, an annual review of your personal will and testament can ensure that your beneficiaries are up-to-date and that that your wishes for the transfer of money, property and other assets can be met in the event of your death, according to Langsam. If you were married this year, or had a child or made other substantial changes, you can update your will to reflect those changes.

There are a myriad of other will-related issues which you can review with your attorney as well, from any needed changes to your power of attorney to your living will stipulations and more.

Keeping these matters up-to-date will give you piece of mind in the event something should happen to you.

Insurance coverage is also a great thing to review at the end of the year and as a new year begins so you can be sure that your family, property, vehicles and businesses are properly and adequately covered, says Langsam. This is a great habit to have annually so you can maximize your coverage while minimizing your costs.

Clients may also want to review their medical insurance policies and coverage as well, says Langsam, so they can be aware of and investigate any changes in coverage as they head into the new year, he says.


End-of-year charitable giving is important to peruse for any last-minute potential tax breaks before you must file your tax returns by next April.

“Some people like to review their charitable giving because sometimes there’s an advantage to making your charitable donation at the end of the year instead of holding them over to the new year,” he says.

And don’t forget to request your free annual credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, so you can check to be sure there are no errors that could affect your borrowing and credit status.

“You are entitled to a free credit report each year from each of the three agencies” and it’s important to be sure their records are correct, he says. “Go online and request them to check for any reporting errors. I’ve found errors on my own personal credit reports in the past and when I contacted them they apologized and removed the errors.”

Annual reviews of the legal issues in your life are a good habit to have, giving you peace of mind and keeping your legal life better organized.

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