USLegal Newsletter December 2018 – 5 Steps to Organize Your Legal Life in 2019

If you are writing resolutions and setting goals for the New Year, getting your legal affairs in order would be an important task to address. It is the best way to protect you and your family in the event of an emergency or unforeseen life event. Do you have a Will? Is it up to date? Have you considered preparing a health care directive? Do you have important financial and legal documents together in one location that you can easily access and have you told someone you trust about the location of your important papers? A little preparation now can make a big difference when you need it the most. Here are 5 steps to help you get a jump start on being legally prepared in 2019.

  • Conduct a LegalLife™ Checkup – The LegalLife™ Checkup is a questionnaire designed to assist you in identifying and addressing matters that may affect your legal rights and obligations. Download the checkup forms
  • Create a Life Documents FileA Life Documents File is a collection of important documents, including legal documents, such as your will, birth certificate, marriage license, etc. Learn how to put your life documents file together today.
  • Review the Organize Your LegalLife™ Guide This Guide contains information on selected areas of law that should be addressed when organizing legal affairs including family law, employment, real estate, elder, retirement, estate planning, and end of life issues to name a few.
  • Prepare Will, Living Will, and Power of Attorney documents – Will, Living Will, and Power of Attorney documents are essential legal forms to have on file in the event of an emergency. Whether you hire an attorney to prepare these documents for you or order a Personal Planning Package from, do not delay in getting these key legal documents completed.
  • Prepare a Letter of InstructionA letter of instruction is not a formal legal document, but simply a list of instructions for people to follow when you are sick or have died. It includes, but is not limited to the following – location of important documents, contact list of close family members or loved ones, burial preferences, favorite charities, hospital preferences, current list of financial assets and debts, list of insurance policies, list of investments, location of property deeds, and personal resources contact information such as family doctor, family attorney, family stockbroker, and the religious leader and house of worship.

For more topics and free resources, visit the LegalLife™ Resource Center.

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LegalLife Resource Center –As a public service, the LegalLife™ Resource Center contains free information and resources to assist you in understanding and organizing legal aspects of your life. Whether you are single, married, have children, are widowed or divorced, legal planning is important. Use our checklists and online tools to get your legal affairs organized today.  Learn More

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Legal Definitions

Testamentary Capacity

In making a will, the maker of the will must have testamentary capacity, meaning that he/she must understand the nature of making a will, have a general idea of what he/she possesses, and know who are members of the immediate family or other “natural objects of his/her bounty”.

Testamentary capacity requires ability on the part of the testator to understand and carry in mind, in general way, the nature and situation of his property and his relations to those persons who would naturally have some claim to his remembrance. It requires freedom from delusion which is the effect of disease or weakness and which might influence the disposition of his property. Also, it requires ability at the time of execution of the alleged will to comprehend the nature of the act of making a will.

For more legal definitions, please visit our free online legal dictionary at