Be prepared ahead of time with this list of important documents and information needed when there is a death. Loss of a loved one is traumatic. Self-preparation can help reduce the stress for loved ones during this difficult time.
1. Very Important Preparations:
- Inform estate executor or family member where they can find your important documents.
a) Will or Living Trust
b) Birth Certificate
c) DD-214 and other Military Papers
d) Social Security Card
e) Divorce Decree(s) (if applicable)
f) Marriage Certificate,
- Even if you have a Will or Living Trust, discuss your wishes with the executor or family member ahead of time for the disbursement of property, pets, finances, etc. Put this discussion in writing and have it signed and notarized, if possible.
- Take care of your funeral and burial arrangements in advance. After you die is not the best time to take care of the details of burial and will add more stress on your loved ones. Decide beforehand if there will be a funeral, Calibration of Life, small reception, full burial, or cremation.
- Let a family member know the lactation of your current financial statements. This includes bank accounts, income records from all sources, investment and retirement accounts, other assets, credit card accounts, past 4 or 5 years of tax records, and other financial accounts.
- A family member or the executor will need to inform the social security office when you pass away so they can stop any future social security payments. This is also important if your spouse or child can qualify for a Social Security Death Benefit? A married child or spouse may qualify for a death benefit from the Social Security Administration. Call your local social security office to find out.
- Inform estate executor or family member where they can find your important asset and liability records. Mortgage or rental documents, deeds for property, last home appraisal, HUD statements from home purchase and each refinances, receipts for home improvements, vehicle title, outstanding bills such as utilities, phone bills, medical payments, real estate taxes, outstanding loans, subscriptions, or memberships., and any other information related to current assets.
- Do you serve on any boards or volunteer committees? Inform estate executor or family member of all organizations you are involved with and provide phone numbers of key people who you serve with in these organizations?
- If you are involved in any legal disputes inform estate executor or family member of them and provide a limited power of attorney for these matters.
- Inform estate executor or family member where they can find all of your health records and insurance policies.
- Inform estate executor or family member if want to be an organ donor.
- Provide an up-to-date list of all important phone numbers so that your family members will not have to search these numbers out after your passing.
2. Important Recommendations:
- It is recommend that you buy a portable fireproof box, if you don’t already have one; it should be large enough to hold files and a few valuables, but not so large that you can’t easily carry it out if you have a fire. Following are some of the items that you should keep in the box:
a) List of insurance policies, bank accounts and contact information
b) List of debt obligations, due dates, and contact information
c) Your family’s passports, birth certificates, and DD-214’s
d) List of medications, prescription numbers, List doctors and pharmacies that you currently use.
e) Copy of durable power of attorney, living wills, and healthcare proxies – yours and all those of which you are attorney-in-fact or healthcare surrogate
f) Copy of each of your wills and all those of which you are the executor
g) Safety deposit box keys
h) List of investment, retirement, and bank accounts, with all contact information
i) Your original Social Security card (when you’re not using it)
3. Final Preparations:
- Finally, you should keep a true copy of this checklist in your portable fireproof box. As you can see, much of the information on the list above is already called for elsewhere in the checklist. Keeping track of your vital information should be made as simple as possible. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.
- Also, keep the original copy of this checklist with your will so that your executor or personal family member representative has access to both. Give other copies of this checklist to individuals such as your lawyer or your close relatives who have copies of your important documents. Keep copies of documents such as wills and trust agreements in your portable fireproof box for easy access.
Importance of Family
With the unexpected passing away of my brother on December 13, 2012, I made a commitment to do all I can to end the years of family segregating that has inflicted almost all of us for generations. I do love my birth family, my extended family, and my friends: This is why I am risking these articles.
Part 1: Selfishness and Resentments
In the course of my 56+ years on this rock we all call home, I have seen where family is very important and should be valued and cared for with all efforts possible. No matter the personal feelings there are at least six life events where selfish grudges of resentment need to be fully set aside where family is concerned.
E. Major Illness
I do love my birth family and my extended family. I value each person on their own standings: Individually by family birthright or inclusion by marriage. I do not believe that I know everything there is about the importance of family dynamics. I have made many mistakes in the area of life relationships and I will make many more mistakes by the time my life passes away.
- Some of my family will take exception to this writing and others will do a self-evaluation for the betterment of all.
- Some of my friends will take exception to this writing and others will do a self-evaluation for the betterment of their remaining lives.
- Which path each chooses is between them and their concept of God.
I grew up in a transitory family and yes I too segregated myself from the others for over 32 years by personal choice. I have no one to blame for that save myself.
We, the family, moved around a lot. We all took different paths as adults. Closeness was not a word we knew as children when the seeds of segregation were planted. Pretending to value a Christ directed life (provided it supported inbreed “EGO” self-centeredness). Yet without being specifically instructed; all 6 siblings learned well (in our own ways) the deepest poisoning of resentment – using this word as our unknown core motto for justifying segregation from each other as life turned into years: Turned into decades. Resentments are held as the deepest of traditions and worthy of full obedience.
“What Builds Resentments?”
1) False Pride
2) Perceived Rights Violated
3) Inflated Value of Self Importance
4) Arrogant Self Piety
5) Not Obtaining Wants (Physical, Financial, Emotional, Spiritual, or Intellectual)
“Selfishness Is A Form Of Generational Resentment That Festers As A Malignant Cancer Within The Heart If Left Untreated.”
There are many thousand vile resentments which I could write about to the disgrace of each and every member of the infected extended family. However, I will only state the following four as examples.
Example 1: There was a time in my youth where the patriarch did not get the deal he desired from Sears Roebuck Company, and vowed publicly to never shop there again for the rest of his life. I do not know if he kept this vow after I left home in March of 1974, but the memory of the toxic resentment voiced remains in me today. The children learned well this lesson.
Example 2: Something happen early in life, perhaps before my birth, that the matriarch of the family still holds as gold in her memories of early marriage: Bringing up often to justify withholding valued affirmations of honest love. She had wanted one specific material item of worldly ease and the patriarch brought home yet a different item of material worldly ease instead. The memory of this toxic resentment voiced over and over remains in me today. The children learned well this lesson.
Example 3: In July 2006, in an effort to turn the tide of this segregation, one sibling refuses’ to accept and acknowledge that another sibling never clearly heard him voice a desire to materially fund a meal for the partially combined family reunion; thereby chocking a hold onto a resentment to justify his childish behavior demonstrated to an innocent waitress at the time of the meal and not talk to or forgive the hard of hearing sibling that never understood the request spoken to a third person in the first place – never accepting the other siblings amends for not hearing or understanding the once spoken desire. Yes toxic resentments remain today: The children learned well.
Example 4: There is one set of pious sibling parents who resents their own son and will not talk to the son because a final will and testament left control of an estate to the grandson and not to them: More material selfish resentment. Yes the children learned very well.
“Selfishness Is A Personal Choice.”
EGO is selfishness. EGO is “Edging God Out” of our lives, thoughts, actions, and desires. EGO does more harm than good to others and ourselves. EGO must be limited as much as humanly possible.
Being a personal choice; selfishness can be both good and bad in this life depending on the core foundation of such an action. However, if the results of selfish actions ever harm another person, in the long term of life, then it falls firmly into the bad and must be avoided at all cost.
I encourage all family members (and friends who read this) to do an honest self-appraisal and see where any of your personal choices of selfishness has ever caused harm to anyone. No one is exempt from selfishness so, therefore, we all have our faults in this area of life and we all owe great amends to others. We are not arrogantly perfect!
Any person who does not believe that their selfish choices have ever done harm to another person is arrogant without exception.
“Some Character Signs Of Selfish Resentment.”
k) Rage/Anger/Hostility (Passive or Aggressive)
How important is selfish resentments really?
Guy Lewis, Payson, Arizona, December 26, 2012
Part 2 “Forgiveness Is A Personal Choice.”
Part 3 “Love Is A Personal Choice.”