January is a great time to get organized and make plans for the year. Attorney Joel Schoenmeyer, who writes the Death and Taxes Blog in Chicago, has a recent post called Organize Your Financial Life in 2007. He lays out, month by month which tasks you should tackle such as making an appointment with a financial planner, meeting with your accountant, getting your taxes in order, opening a safe deposit box, reviewing your insurance policies, and more.
However, he puts estate planning all the way in October. I have to recommend that at least part of your estate plan - the Durable Power of Attorney - be done in the beginning of the year. Then if something happens to you, the person you have named as your agent can continue to organize your financial life and manage your affairs for you.