Preparing, Just In Case

| By Jodi Horton

If something were to happen to you, or to someone you love, would you know what to do about practical matters? For example, from what banking accounts are bills paid? Who has access to those accounts? Do you know where the insurance information is kept? By sorting through this information now, and providing it to someone you trust, you can give yourself peace of mind and create a map for family members, just in case.

Grab some file folders, or create a new folder on your computer, and start with this list. It might not cover everything you need, or maybe too much, depending on individual circumstances. Let it serve as a guide, and make a point to revisit the list each year to make sure it remains up-to-date and accurate.

Healthcare Essentials

Is there an advance directive or a living will? Have you declared a medical power of attorney? Make sure the MPOA has a copy of the advance directive. It’s also a good idea to provide this information to any back-up medical powers of attorney and all of your physicians. If you have not yet selected an MPOA, or completed an advance directive, request a free copy of the Five Wishes from Casa de la Luz Foundation.

Create a list of your doctors, with contact information, and a list of medications currently taking and your regular pharmacy. This is important information, especially in case of an emergency. Your doctors and the pharmacy will be able to provide medical history information.

Important Contacts

Create a list of important contacts. If something happened to you, who would need to know? This list might start with helpful family members or friends. Then it should also include professional contacts—attorney, insurance agents, financial representatives.

Important Papers

Where do you keep your important papers? This includes the above-mentioned advance directives and other important paperwork, such as insurance papers, tax returns, a will, birth certificate, real estate holdings, stocks, etc. If you served in the military, you should also have a copy of your DD214, and any paperwork related to registration with the regional Veterans Affairs. Keep paperwork in clearly labeled file folders in a safe place.

Financial Information

Provide someone  you trust with information regarding your finances in case of an emergency. They should have information regarding your banking accounts (checking, savings, with which bank and who has access to these accounts), your investments, your assets and your debts. What bills need to be paid, and what’s the payment schedule?

Articles of Interest

Read these articles for more information about putting your affairs, or an elderly parent’s, in order.

Mom, Dad, Can We Talk? – AARP Blog

What Millennials Need to Ask Their Parents – The New Old Age Blog

Getting Your Affairs In Order – National Institute on Aging

If you or someone you love is in need of hospice care in the Pima County area, contact Casa de la Luz Hospice at (520) 544-9890 for information or to schedule a no-cost evaluation with a nurse.

Back to Articles