Apr 14, 2015
Checklist for My Family: A Guide to My History, Financial Plans, and Final Wishes”
American Bar Association, AARP team up to publish planning guide to get organized

CHICAGO—This is the book that everyone needs. The third in Sally Balch Hurme’s series of “checklist” books, “ABA/AARP Checklist for My Family: A Guide to My History, Financial Plans, and Final Wishes,” provides a roadmap to put your life in order in one place: everything from passwords and bank and retirement accounts to legal documents, doctors and medications, wishes about medical care, and more. While giving you peace of mind, this book is also a gift to your loved ones, sparing them stressful decisions and needless frustrations when you are ill or after your death.

With advice that “no one knows your personal history as well as you do,” the jointly published book by the American Bar Association and AARP walks the reader through gathering that information and explains what people need, why they need it, what is missing and where to get it.

Each chapter starts with a checklist that can be used to collect important and helpful information. For each item on the checklist, Hurme provides basic information as well as tips on how to locate and organize it.

Chapters one and two collect personal and family history. In chapters three through eight, Hurme guides the reader through detailing assets and liabilities. Chapter nine concerns legal documents and their location, and chapter 10 helps set out what family members should do when the person is ill or near death. 

Hurme’s earlier book published by the two nonprofit organizations, “ABA/AARP Checklist for Family Survivors: A Guide to Practical and Legal Matters When Someone You Love Dies”, consistently ranks among the bestsellers in Amazon’s elder family law category. Her next book, “ABA/AARP Checklist for Family Caregivers,” is scheduled to be released in May in conjunction with a PBS television special, “Caring for Mom and Dad.”

An elder law attorney and former executive with both AARP and the ABA, Hurme has advocated on financial exploitation, elder abuse, surrogate decision-making and advance care planning. A graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University and American University’s Washington College of Law, she lives in Alexandria, Va.

Hurme’s top six tips for staying in control of your life and making sure family members are prepared:

  • Keep up-to-date beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement plans.
  • Sort through, date and identify family photos before those in the picture are forgotten.
  • List all autopay bills, online and bank accounts, credit cards and rewards programs—but keep the list safe.
  • Be sure someone else knows where safe deposit boxes and keys are and what is in them.
  • Photograph or videotape special possessions and note who should get special items.
  • Let a loved one know what medical treatments are wanted.


ABA/AARP Checklist for My Family: A Guide to My History, Financial Plans, and Final Wishes”


ABA Publishing / AARP



Product Code:





7 x 10






Order the book through the AARP Bookstore orShop.aba.org,
or call 800-285-2221.

Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies are available by sending an email to Neal Cox atneal.cox@americanbar.org. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Neal Cox c/o ABA Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

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About the American Bar Association

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

Neal Cox, ABA, 312-988-6058, neal.cox@americanbar.org
Kristin S. Palmer, AARP, 202-434-2560, kpalmer@aarp.org