Legal Resolutions for 2021

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

Last year taught us that the way we spend money, the way we spend time and the way we live our daily lives can change in an instant. There were so many things that were simply beyond our control yet moving into 2021 we want to be able to live our lives to the fullest. Take some time this year to take a few steps towards peace of mind.

Get your finances in order.

Having a good handle on your finances is important for so many reasons related to your legal well-being. For example, if you are contemplating divorce, you’ll need to know everything about your assets, debts and income. The court requires a full financial disclosure with the documentation to back it up. Having a good view of your finances can also be helpful if you need to do anything in relation to estate planning. 

Create a will.

As you may know, a will is a legal document that states how you would like your property allocated after you die. Once you have your finances sorted out, you can determine what will become of your savings, investments and other possessions after you are gone. If you have minor children, you may also indicate who should care for your children. Having a will drafted is not just a responsible thing to do, but it’s also good for your mental health. Once you have a will prepared, you can rest assured that the division of your hard-earned assets will go smoothly for the loved ones you leave behind.

Assess your safety.

Safety is a broad topic. Perhaps you want to make sure your online accounts are safe, with secure passwords, to protect you from identity theft. Or maybe you have been neglecting your household safety issues, like checking smoke alarms or repairing walkways. As personal injury attorneys in Wisconsin, we often think of vehicle safety and maintenance. Maybe you want to make sure your vehicle is up-to-date with normal maintenance and any safety recalls have been resolved. Pick a safety area that needs improvement and take control.

Make a plan.

Now that we’ve given you some ideas for easy and practical resolutions, it’s your turn to take action and make a plan for following through with them. Make a list of your specific goals and come up with a strategy to follow through with them. For example, if you choose to clean up your online security, try setting a goal to change your passwords on a consistent basis. Or if you decide you want to take on drafting a will, schedule a consultation with an attorney to get started.

If you’re still feeling like you need a little more direction, try using the tried and true project management acronym, S.M.A.R.T. This tool has been around since at least the early 1980’s and is still used today. S.M.A.R.T. stands for the following five goal criteria:

  • Specific – Give details about your resolution.
  • Measurable – Plan how to track your progress.
  • Achievable – Make sure that your goal is something that can be reached.
  • Relevant – Confirm that your resolution makes sense in your life.
  • Time-related – Set a deadline.

After you’ve chosen your resolutions, apply these five criteria to each. By using this method, you’ll create a clear path to achieving your goals.

About the Author

Meghan Petters has been with Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C. for over 15 years. She spent the majority of her time as a family law paralegal but has also been managing the firm’s social media platforms for many years. Prior to joining the firm, Meghan had a background in communications. She currently serves as the firm’s Social Media and Marketing Coordinator.