Everything that once began has an end, as does life. We will all die one day. Religion and literature have tons of text on the afterlife. But what happens here, on earth, after we leave the world? To make sure our loved ones don’t get embroiled in our affairs, it’s important we get them in order before we pass.
Where to Begin
The answer to this question is different for every family, but let’s start with your records; you want to make sure the following things are added to a list:
- Your legal name
- Social Security number
- Date and place of birth
- Names and addresses of your spouse and children
- Location of birth and death certificates
- Location of other certificates like marriage, citizenship, adoption, divorce
- Education records
- Employment history
- Memberships in different groups or organizations
- Awards or honors received
- Names and contact details of family, friends, and associates
- Location of Living Will and other documents
- Source of income and assets
- Insurance data
- Bank and account details
- Investment income
- Copy of last income tax return
- Location of recent will with your signature
- Liabilities including property tax
- Mortgages and debts
- Location of the Deed of Trust for your home
- Title of automobile and registration information
- Credit and debit card names and numbers
- Location of safe deposit with key
How to Get Your Affairs in Order
Start putting important documents in one place. Set up a file and put everything in it including information and location of legal documents. If the documents are in a bank safe, keep a copy at home, and check from time to time if you need to add anything new. Once you take care of all documents, let a trusted family member know where you have put these documents.
You don’t have to share your personal affairs with anyone. But you must let someone know where these documents are in case there is an emergency.
In case you don’t trust friends or family, you can hire a lawyer do this.
It’s also important that you know how these documents will affect and transfer to your loved ones. Visit Commerce Trust Company in case you don’t understand something.
Discuss Your End of Life Preferences with Your Doctor
This is another fact we hate to discuss, but most people live their last moments on a hospital bed. If you are facing health issues, you can explain your health and end of life decisions to your doctor regarding potential available treatments. Speak with the doctor to make sure your wishes are honored, and your visit or stay is covered by insurance.
You need to permit the doctor to speak with your caregivers if needed. There are several inquiries they need to make about your health care, bills and health insurance claims. Do your best to assist them.