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5 Legal New Year's Resolutions for 2015

When it comes to New Year's resolutions, adding a few legal goals to the list can be a great way to stay current on your long-term legal needs.

From estate planning to personal finances, there are a number of ways to be proactive when it comes to legal planning. And though you can't always prevent legal issues from arising, you can put yourself in a better position to handle them once they do.

What can you do this New Year's to help plan for a better legal foundation in 2015? Here are five legal New Year's resolutions:

  1. Create a personal finance statement. A great way to get a snapshot of your finances is by periodically preparing a personal financial statement, allowing you to compare the state of your personal finances as they fluctuate by year, month, or quarter.
  2. Prioritize your debts. Paying down debt is a perennial resolution favorite. But which should you pay first? By prioritizing your debts correctly, you can pay them down without inadvertently getting yourself in an even worse financial predicament.
  3. Start a retirement plan if you already haven't. It's never too early to start planning for retirement, but it can be definitely be too late if you wait too long. There are many different options for retirement savings. Find the one that works best for you and start saving now.
  4. Consider estate planning alternatives, additions. Although for many people, estate planning is synonymous with "drafting a will," there is actually a wide array of estate planning options. These include using trusts to distribute your property without requiring probate and the use of healthcare directives such as living wills to express your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event you are incapacitated.
  5. Get professional legal assistance if you need it. Although some legal issues can be handled without the need to hire a lawyer, there are others which are best handled by an attorney.

For more legal solutions for every stage of life check out FindLaw's Learn About the Law section on Legal Planning.

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