When your loved ones come home to help you deal with a significant medical crisis or even to help you wrap up your estate after you have passed away, you could put them in a very difficult situation by not having any access to these critical financial documents and other materials.
Not knowing where your important information is located or not communicating this to your loved ones can make things much more difficult when they are already coping with grief or an emergency situation that requires their quick action. The tasks can seem insurmountable when trying to help a parent who has recently lost their spouse, if the spouse who passed away was the one primarily involved in financial management. Many people are now confronting the question of where to even begin with handling the growing piles of mail and paperwork and what to do if there is no filing system available. A master document can be helpful for directing people for where to find answers to many different questions. Some of the most common questions asked by loved ones who show up in an emergency include;
- Where is the last original will and testament located?
- Were any military discharge or veterans’’ benefits papers filed?
- Which bills in the pile are outstanding and require payment?
- Where was the family money invested?
- Was there a life insurance policy and which company maintained it?
The task of information preparedness might be approached differently by those adult children who have already had to step in and address these concerns on behalf of their loved ones. This can be an important learning opportunity that provides insight about what to do and what not to do. Going through this situation on your own might cause you to reflect about the best way to protect your own interests and to keep documents stored properly to make it easier for your loved ones if they need to step in quickly.