The Fearless Caregiver


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief The Board of Directors


For a caregiver (or the CEO of Caring for My Loved One, Inc.), the holidays are a perfect time to organize “Board of Directors” meetings of adult family members. These meetings can be held after holiday dinners, poolside, or anywhere you and your loved ones gather. 

We will continue to share topics of interest for these meetings in upcoming communiqués, but one of the most important topics may not have anything to do with the loved one for whom you care as much as it has to do with you. The topic of at least one of these meetings is what needs to be done in case of your own illness or passing. In fact, all adult members of your family need to establish a Personal Records Management solution.

Below, you will find a really interesting list of some of the less obvious topics a personal executor may need to have access to upon a moment’s notice: 

Bank accounts and numbers – You may also want to note where hard copy checks are being stored, if applicable.

Birth certificate – If you can’t find yours, you can order an official copy.

Brokerage account numbers, account Web sites and passwords, broker contact info – Most brokerage accounts have online account information that can be easily accessed.

Computer/Web site passwords – These are important for your executor to have in order to close down any open online email services, subscriptions, PayPal accounts, online bank accounts and the like.Personal Record Keeping for Loved Ones

Family contacts – Provide the contact information of professionals who have assisted the family and who the executor will likely need to contact.

Health records – Provide your executor with all personal health records: this information will be important to the future generations of your family. If you have children who are minors, take the responsibility now to organize their personal health records.

Home alarm code and location of instructions – It could be pretty embarrassing for your executor to trip off your alarm or not know how it works should you not be around.

Insurance policies – Make sure life and health insurance policies can be located along with any agent or company information. 

Military discharge papers – These will come into play if military benefits are due to your beneficiaries.

Organ donor – If you are a donor, without proper documentation, your wishes will not be observed.  

Safe deposit box number and key – Some have one safe deposit box, others have many. Regardless of your situation, make sure you leave clear instructions as to where yours is and how the executor can access it.

Social Security number and card – This is important for identification and benefit claims – not just your Social Security number, but those of your beneficiaries, including minor children.

Trust documents – If you have created a trust, regardless of type, your executor will need to be able to locate and access the governing documents. 

                                                                                                         - Executor's Resource, Inc.

As we discovered when my dad took suddenly ill, these are not the things you want your loved ones to spend any time looking for in a moment of crisis.




  Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine
Friday November 25, 2011
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