We don’t like to think about death. That can be especially true when it comes to thinking about and planning for our own death.
As we approach our final days, our caregivers and survivors will have a difficult time. We should do what we can to make it easier for them to understand our wishes and close out our personal business.
One easy way to do that involves the creation of a written list of our directives and personal records. Include these with names and contact info in our written record:
Directives for the final days of our care. Hospice? Medical power of attorney?
Post death. Organ donor? Cremation or burial? Public or private services preference?
Our full and legal name. Exact date and place of birth.
Insurance policy information on health, life, auto, and residence.
Location of legal, current will and the name of our attorney.
Bank names and account numbers. Investments with a financial advisor.
Outstanding loans and debts for mortgage, home equity, auto, and credit cards.
Tax accountant and records of recent filings.
All doctors and dentists.
To ease disposition of our residence, list maintenance records on major improvements and repairs. HVAC and major kitchen appliance purchase dates and warranties. Location of these records with names and phone numbers of the service providers.
Those of us who have had to deal with the death of a loved one who did not leave written records can attest to the weeks (even months) of time spent in finding this information. Too often, this post-death exercise is never successfully completed because no records exist.
At what point in life should we begin to collect and record information that will be vital to our survivors? How about today, as we never know when tomorrow may be too late. Give a copy of this information to those who will need it and watch them smile as they give you a hug for being so caring.