While our social lives are slowing down, now is a good time to work with your spouse, partner, family, and friends to build a roadmap of your important personal documents, asset details, and account information.
While I initially created this checklist for caregivers, I found it was incredibly useful to organize all of the information that surrounds my family. I also went from two drawers in a filing cabinet to one 2-inch three ring binder.
You can download a free copy of the checklist (and get a simple guide on what to save and what to shred) to put together a binder of your information. In my house it sits on the desk in our home office so everyone can find the information when it is needed.
I hope you will find it useful for you and your loved ones. Feel free to share this PDF. Given.
I am guessing that more doctors liked when patients were not armed with so much information. However, between whole sections of our daily newspaper that cover health issues and the internet, we can probably be everything from better patients to difficult to help. As an individual with the need to constantly learn, I love pouring over the Health & Science section of the The Washington Post. Today, it includes a story from Muriel Dobbin who talks about the delirium she experienced after surgery. Apparently, up to 46 percent of all surgery patients are struck annually by “postoperative delirium” that is marked by confused thinking, disruption of mental faculties, and anxiety. In older patients, the figure hits 70 to 87 percent who end up in intensive care. It can last days, weeks, months, and in some cases years.
In general, we are bad at making up a plan B for ourselves should we be incapacitated if only for a few days or weeks. It’s why more than $60 billion is sitting with state and Federal treasurers — no one documented their money or assets and how to get to it and eventually it ends up in the unclaimed money pool.
While I walked into this recognition because of my time as a caregiver for my parents, it made me realize how fragile my own household information was and how important it was to create a roadmap of our accounts, document all my user names and passcodes, as well as write down the answers to all of my security questions.
Once a week I hear from an adult child that is frustrated that their parent doesn’t have this information together and they are overwhelmed. My first recommendation is to do it for yourself … and maybe do it with your loved one so you are both organized. This is not just something you need to do when you hit 40. The complications of our digital word make this something every adult should do.
Most often, I end up walking into an older adults home and sorting through piles of mail to try to quickly build a financial profile. I’m typically working with a spouse who has no idea how to even begin on top of the grief and worry they are feeling as a loved one is in a hospital or rehab facility. For many baby boomers, I am finding that they manage their own accounts and often divide and conquer and don’t have a shared vision of their household assets.
I hope this will give you the incentive to now do it for yourself. You can get a free checklist of what to organize here. It won’t require more than 2 inch ringer binder to get it together. If you would rather be walked through the collection process, you can order the workbook on Amazon for $17.16. Recommended.