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Rebuilding Your Financial Life: CPAs Available to Help Those Affected by Storms

May 2, 2011 (SmartPros) The devastating tornadoes and storms that have raked the Midwest and Southeast in recent days have left more than physical destruction. They've shaken residents' financial foundations.

CPA financial planners are available to help your readers, listeners and viewers think through the financial challenges they will face as they begin to rebuild their lives. In addition, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, in conjunction with the American Red Cross and National Endowment for Financial Education, has prepared guides focused on financial issues of disaster recovery that can help those affected in your communities get back on their feet. Among the topics:
Reconstructing records – Residents will need records as they work through the insurance process. If they lost them in a disaster, they can get a copy of escrow papers from the real estate agent, title company or bank that handled their home purchase. Their tax preparer will have copies of previous returns. Want ads or Internet shopping sites can help with developing estimates of the fair market value of damaged or destroyed items.
Screening contractors – Residents should get estimates from several licensed, bonded and reputable contractors. They should get contracts in writing and make periodic payments as work progresses, making the final payment after the work is finished.
Moving on — Once back on their feet, residents should prepare themselves for any future disasters. They should conduct a household inventory annually, update their estate plans regularly and build an emergency fund to help when times are tough.

2011 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

Source: AICPA

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