Leaving Instructions For Your Family in Case of Illness or Death

We’ve all heard of the Living Will that allows a person to leave instructions concerning death or severe illness. The wills allow the person in question to leave instructions for disconnecting life support systems, giving resuscitation, and other important matters. But, those aren’t the only things a family must confront should you suddenly become unable to take care of your own matters.

Upon sudden illness or injury a person’s bills must still be paid, his or her insurance companies need to be notified, and other personal matters will need tending. Purchase a journal and include this info, along with other pertinent information, for your family’s peace of mind.

The journal can be a plain notebook or a locked diary-type book. Label different categories of importance in the book. Should the need arise, your family will be able to easily tend to your important matters for you. If you’re the only bread-winner in the family, or you’re the bill-payer, this is very important.

Include your Living Will in the journal, in case your family needs to refer to it. Along with the will, include a page that has your social security number, bank account numbers, as well as phone numbers to insurance company, boss, loan companies and other places of business.

It’s a good idea to list bills, when they are due, how much they are each, and so forth. Most loan companies will forego payment if the party involved is incapacitated. Include a page of personal phone numbers such as family members and friends. Many of these numbers are kept in a person’s own memory and may not be as accessible by a family member.

Prepare a list of things your family might need to know. These can include instructions upon your death, things to consider while you’re hospitalized, or just notes reminding them of how much you love them.

Since the journal will contain valuable and personal information, keep it somewhere safe. Do not store it in a place where someone is likely to simply find it accidentally. Keep it in a safe deposit box, a safe, or a hiding place that one person knows about, within the family. Instruct the person to retrieve the journal upon you becoming incapacitated or deceased.

You’re never too young to begin work on your journal. Update it at least once a year and choose someone you trust to let them in on the hiding place. Your family will need this information in case of you becoming involved in an accident or a serious illness. You’ll be taking care of them, even when you can’t.

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