Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

13 Items to Organize "Just In Case"

13 Items to Organize "Just in Case"

So your husband, the love of your life, has just died suddenly in a motorcycle accident leaving you heartbroken with a fatherless family. Is he going to leave you scrambling and confused when the bills come in too? Will you easily be able to access that life insurance policy your sure he has or is he going to leave you broke? 

After attending to the details asociated with planning a funeral (since no one gets around to prepare for THAT until at least their 60s or 70s now), smack dab in the middle of the worst grief of your life, it's time to sort through your finances to make sure you and the little ones will also survive. Now if you could just find those bank account numbers. . . 

In our invincible culture where death to many has become a "disease" that should be cured, very few of us take the time to plan and prepare documents to ease the burden of our loved ones "just in case."

I'm guilty. I'll admit it. When J and I married and left X with my parents during our honeymoon, my mom insisted on a document typed, signed, and notarized stating they would become the legal guardians of X should anything happen to both of us.

That was the only peace of mind she asked for. It was the only one she received.

Even when I was diagnosed with cancer I resisted. I did fill out a Durable Power of Attorney immediately for fear that my family and my husband would go to war over healthcare decisions if I could not make them. But this was more to avoid disaster than to provide anyone with peace of mind.

It took three years before I actually made a will on and then another 6 months after I received it to actually sign it.

Is my will in a secure, well-known location? 


It's hanging around with some other mail I need to organize sometime, somewhere. 

I have, however, managed to create a document listing all my accounts and how to access them. I do fear that some of my assets will go unaccounted for and end up in the great abyss of the states' undeclared funds either for lack of understanding how to obtain them or a lack of desire to do so. But at lest it's very useful for me now. I always now my accounts and passwords.

Through the years I've come to recognize leaving our loved ones with the information and details that they will need in order to manage the future is a tremendous gift. 

Below is a list of things that will be helpful to collect for yourselves and your loved ones so that they can feel securein their lives and their future when death comes. 

The last thing they'll want to do then is dig through my desks and files looking for the answers. 

This proactive effort may be as simple as writing the information on a piece of paper or  organizing a sectional binder. In this day an age, it could be set up on your computer, just remember to leave the location of the information and password to unlock this document somewhere obvious. 

Here are 13 Must Have Items to Collect and Organize "Just in Case."

1. Funeral Director, funeral home phone numbers, cemetary and plots if known and purchased.  

2. Attorneys, Accountants, Financial planners, Executors of Estate Names and numbers of those you hired. List the reason these relationships were important and the documents, investments created and where these documents located.

3. Insurance Names, phone numbers, policy numbers for life, health, home, etc. If it's through a corporate account, the name and phone number of your contact in Human Resources may be helpful.

4. Bank Accounts This is the time to divulge any secrets! List the location, type, numbers and passwords, etc.

5. Social Security So much of what we do in life is linked back to our social security number. Clearly write out your number, as those you leave behind may be entitled to further benefits.

6. Work-Related Policies Life Insurance, 401k, Health Insurance...If something happens to you, what department at work does your loved one call & what are the details of your arrangements there?

7. Bills This area of our life is never cut and dry. List out your bills, automated payments or deposits and any special situations you have garnered.

8. Vehicles There are two cars parked in the driveway and you just helped buy your grandson’s! Title, maintenance, insurance & anything owed on all of your vehicles. If you have purchased a warranty on the vehicle that information should be included.

9. Credit Cards And you most likely don’t have just one! Names, numbers, pins, passwords will all be helpful and don't forget websites with log in codes if you've done on-line banking. One great place to organize these and help realize life time financial goals is

10. Financial Documents Of course, the financial planner will be helpful with some of this and you may have had your hand in more than one pot. List all independent investments of stocks, bonds, titles, retirement accounts, etc.

11 Safety Deposit Box Always a mystery, these treasure chests! List the Location and address, number of box and where the key is to open it.

12 Home Mortgage & Real Estate Investments All relevant information should be compiled with names and numbers provided of any professionals that have helped in these transactions.

13 Material Objects If you have not indicated in your Will, how would like your stuff distributed? Your nice watch, your favorite piece of memorabilia and your golf clubs could be a sweet way to recognize your loved ones.

This is important to everyone. We can all get hit by the proverbial bus on the way to work this morning. It's especially important that even when facing a life threatening illness to remember that life will go on after without you. It's so easy to overlook what will happen when you're facing an immediate crisis. organization would be a great gift to the ones you love to make the immediate aftermath as easy as possible. At the very least, make out those Durable Power of Attorney documents giving  someone charge over your care if you can't speak for yourself.

1 comment:

lanabanana said...

Really appreciate this, Hil. It's great info that is much needed by all of us. As the new year has just begun, it's a great time to "put our houses in order".