The Women's Journal

Take Care Of Yourself & Your Finances

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By Jaclyn Quinn, Esq.

Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc.

If you’ve been putting off estate planning or other tough financial conversations, because you dread the discussion, you’re not alone. 

As an estate-planning attorney, I see firsthand how stressed and anxious clients can be when they arrive at our offices. Discussing death and taxes isn’t most people’s idea of a pleasant afternoon—myself included. But I know how necessary these preparations are, and I also see those same clients leave our meeting with a burden lifted. Many comment something to the effect of, “I wish we took care of this years ago! I wouldn’t have had to worry so much!” and each goes home knowing the future is secure for their assets and their loved ones.

As the calendar changes to 2024, make this your moment to tackle your financial to-do list and create that same security for yourself. 

What aspects of financial life might you address in the new year? While taking care of business, plan some time to ensure your assets are all in order: Check in on your various bank and other accounts to ensure your beneficiaries are accurately listed. Consider closing or consolidating old accounts to make them easier to manage (and avoid unnecessary fees for ineffective accounts). Begin tax planning ahead of the April 15 deadline. And learn what you don’t know.

Tax planning can be especially effective for your financial wellbeing. That means holistically looking at your existing accounts and determining the tax effects of withdrawing—or not withdrawing—money from them. For example, if you have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you have certain responsibilities to avoid penalties, like making minimum withdrawals after turning 72. Knowing this type of information, which will vary among account types and with your age and income level, may help you to determine which accounts to draw funds from and when to do so, if you want to maximize your savings and avoid paying any unnecessary taxes.

If starting this process feels overwhelming, learn more from trusted sources and demystify some of these thorny, nagging topics before taking action. The Money School, run by the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC), offers free classes taught by local experts over Zoom and at libraries statewide. From the tax implications of retirement to medical insurance options, Social Security, and much, much more general information about credit, budgeting, and savings, the Money School is a long-established community resource for empowering Delawareans to take control of their own financial lives, regardless of wealth or income. 

Putting these pieces in order can go a long way toward allowing you to enjoy your new year, knowing the difficult matters are handled and confusing questions have been answered. Plus, if you’re a caretaker or even just looking out for friends and neighbors, you can share your learnings to help others get on track, too! 

I hope you have a happy new year—and that we’ll perhaps see you at a Money School class soon!

If you are in need of legal advice in Delaware, DCRAC Law is here to assist you. To schedule a consultation, please call 302- 298-3251 or email Jaclyn Quinn at [email protected]. For more information, visit and


Jaclyn Quinn, Esq. joined the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC) in 2011, first as a volunteer, then as staff. In 2014 Jaclyn opened and grew her private practice until 2019, when DCRAC Law opened to the community. DCRAC Law is a nonprofit law firm providing tax, title, and other legal services to those unable to pay market rates. 

Jaclyn graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from The College of New Jersey before moving to Delaware to pursue her J.D. at Widener University- Delaware Law School. She was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 2012, and is also barred in U.S. Tax Court and U.S. Immigration Court. She has volunteered with the Office of the Child Advocate, DVLS, and assists as pro bono counsel in a variety of cases.