The Most Loving Gift

Gary Barg - Editor-in-Chief, Today's Caregiver Magazine


My dad retired at the age of 61 in 1990. He looked forward to working with my mom in the new business that they had just opened, traveling, singing with friends (not necessarily singing well, but enjoying every minute) and seeing what life had to offer. Unfortunately, life did not have much to offer past the first few months of his retirement. One summer day, my mom noticed a strange bump on my dad's head and they went to the doctor to check it out. His doctor called a few days later and, although it was the beginning of the Fourth of July weekend, told them to check into the hospital immediately.  Dad had an aggressive case of multiple myeloma and passed a year later.  The first days after his diagnosis were hectic as Dad's condition progressed rapidly and he was not able to communicate with us either his wishes or where his important documents were located.  We learned (as many families do) the hard lessons the hard way and developed a simple list to help start the conversation with loved ones.
Fearless Caregiver Family Checklist
The most loving gift a person can give to one’s family is to put your affairs in order before a disaster or medical emergency. To assist in providing that gift, we have compiled the following list. The information and documents you should have prepared include: 

  • All bank accounts, account numbers and types of accounts, and the location of banks.
  •  Insurance companies, policy numbers, beneficiary as stated on the policies and type of insurance (health, life, long-term care, automobile, etc).
  •  Deed and titles to ALL property.
  •  Loan/lien information, who holds them and if there are any death provisions.
  •  Social Security and Medicare numbers.
  •  Military history, affiliations and papers (including discharge papers).
  •  Up-to-date Will in a safe place (inform family where the Will is located).
  •  Living Will or other Advanced Directives appropriate to your state of residence.
  •  Durable Power of Attorney.
  •  Instructions for funeral services and burial (if arrangements have been secured, name and location of funeral home).

Happy Thanksgiving and may the easy lessons be yours.


Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine



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