People who suffer from terminal illnesses are generally the ones who think about getting their affairs in order. Either them, or the ones who feel that the end might be just around the corner. While taking the time to ensure your affairs are in order is great, the older generation shouldn’t be the only one’s looking to have a plan in place.
There is no telling when fatal accidents can happen. The same goes for illnesses. Many people lead perfectly healthy lives one second and the next second they are gone in a car crash or put into a coma. Life is full of unexpected events. That is why handling your affairs is essential. It can really help your loved ones when the time comes.
Here, you can find the information you need to get your affairs in order and help your loved ones when tragedy strikes.
The first part of putting your affairs in order is understanding what your loved ones may require. Therefore, let’s start with the basics and then the others.
- Full legal name
- Your Social security number
- Location and date of birth
- Current home and work address
- Names, addresses, and mobile numbers of children and spouse
- Education records
- Military records
- Compilation of employment history and the employers
- Certificates of marriage, citizenship, adoption, divorce, birth, and death
- Membership and awards details
- Medication regularly taken
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of relatives, close friends, kid’s godparents, doctors, lawyers, and financial advisors
- Location of the will and the living will
- Assets and sources of income
- Benefits from employment, such as a pension, IRAs, or 401k
- Medicare, Medicaid, or other, depending on where you live
- Details of all the insurance policies as well as the names and numbers of agents
- Bank names and account information
- Details of investments and stockbrokers
- Copy of the recent tax returns
- Details of mortgages and debts and how to pay them
- Debit and credit card names and numbers
- Location of a safety deposit box and it’s key
- Names and phone numbers of your children’s tutor, caretakers, doctors, and teachers
- Details of your account with the electric, gas, cable, internet, water, and other companies
- If you have pets, details of pet caretakers and vets
Other than this, you may also need to disclose home, property, and vehicle information. Once you have everything down, pick a single secure location to everything safe. You should also hire an estate planning lawyer to help you with everything, especially the will. Many people try to make a will themselves, and their successors may struggle if the document is not effectively written.
Important Documents To Do As You Age
There are plenty of legal documents that will dictate how your affairs will be handled in the future. However, you should remember that many state or province laws vary. That’s why you must find out the law in your state or province, preferably by talking to a lawyer, before handling anything.
Here are some of the vital documents you will need:
As you may know, trusts and wills are the documents that will dictate who gets your money and property after your departure.
Then, there are advance directives. These are the documents that say who makes the arrangements if you become sick and can’t do it yourself. Advance directives are of two different types, which are:
- Power of attorney for healthcare. The person to whom you give this power will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf. But only if you can’t make them yourself. Therefore, make sure you really know and trust this person.
- Living will. This allows you to dictate what the medical healthcare providers should do if you can’t make your wishes known. It can help the person to who you give the power of attorney for healthcare.
In legal matters, you can give the power of attorney to any trusted person. They will be able to act in your place. However, there are two types of power of attorneys. They are:
- General or ordinary power of attorney. This allows you to give a person to act on your behalf. But their powers end after your die or become incapacitated.
- Durable or enduring power of attorney. This allows you to give a person the authority to act on your behalf as well. Also, the power stays in place even if you die or become incapacitated.
While there are more types of power of attorney in some places, these two are the most common ones. You can discuss the details of the power of attorney with your lawyer.
Communicate Your Wishes To The Necessary Persons
When getting all of your affairs in order, you will need to talk to various people. For instance, you may need your doctor, lawyer, financial advisor, and any other advisors. You also need to contact various agents and companies to get all of your details down correctly.
Before hiring an attorney to handle all the paperwork according to the laws, make sure you agree on the fees. Also, find out precisely what the fee includes.
Note down the lists of essential documents above, and match them with your attorney’s. If theirs is less extensive, it may be useful to find another lawyer. If their list contains more details, you should be good to arrange with them.
Among the most important things about getting everything together is finding the right family member or friend. You need to select one or more family members or friends and tell them about everything. After all the papers are finalized, you can keep them in a safe place and tell your trustee the location and access details.
It’s important to note that having more than one trusted person is good. Say you are in a car accident, for instance. You were with the only person to who you disclosed the location of the documents. All of your efforts will be wasted.
Other than merely telling them about it, you should take them to see your lawyer as well. Your attorney can explain to them the ins and outs of the details in those documents. They can also help them understand what to do when the time arrives.