A Christmas Gift That Keeps on Giving

| November 14, 2017 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post
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Christmas Gift That Keeps on Giving

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By Harris N. Rosen

Will you have the responsibility for a parent or for anyone who is the financial or household manager of a relationship? If so, will that information be passed on when it’s needed?

A good friend of mine knew that her husband was dying, but she was totally unprepared for her own emotional reactions, which influenced her ability to function. A successful businesswoman in her own right, she was paralyzed when it came to the simple task of going to the bank and opening a checking account for the estate. Every day tasks became formidable: Food shopping and going to the cleaners became major events. She even was challenged to go out of the house.

Her story is not unusual.

According to a Harvard Medical School publication, “Up to 50% of widows and widowers have symptoms typical of major depression during the first few months after a spouse’s death … A 2006 review noted that 15% of people are depressed at the one-year mark.”

A written record of important information will give your survivors and executor as much confidence to face the future as you are able to provide, and that has to make the manager feel good. I know it has for me.

And what a gift that is!

What should be recorded?

  • Desired funeral arrangements including if a prepaid plan exists or not, anatomical gifts, the reception, calling hours, the obituary, appointing a house manager, what happens at the funeral home and with clergy
  • Whom to call and when upon death
  • Where to get money to pay bills; how to transfer money from investments to a checkbook; who should handle this in the future
  • Investment accounts, reports and advisors
  • Legal papers and evaluations you might need later
  • Location of paid and unpaid bills – especially taxes
  • Financial information including sources of income, your assets and current and recurring bills
  • Professionals to meet with – attorney, accountant and any professional advisor
  • Information about checking, credit and ATM card accounts – which to cancel and/or transfer to another name and which not to and why not
  • Lease data for car and phones
  • Whom to call for insurance that is carried for life, auto, medical and possibly long-term care and personal liability
  • Medical data – the names and phone numbers of doctors and medications
  • Whom to contact for home and appliance repairs – whom to call and their contact numbers, recording of appliance model and serial numbers
  • Information on your house – the location of important papers such as house purchase and the deed, the alarm code, the location of emergency shutoffs and who has keys to the house
  • And while computer and software passwords are obviously important, so are the answers to security questions and how to get help for both your hardware and software problems

My Family Record Book, by Harris N. Rosen will prompt you through these issues – and many more. The book, available on Amazon, also addresses downsizing, where and how to get rid of stuff and instructions to locate anything in your house. To lighten the experience, the book  contains appropriate cartoons.

The manager can rest with peace of mind knowing that vital information is available, and a manager who empowers survivors with knowledge will be showing love and protection when physically unable to do so.

Yes, a Christmas gift that keeps on giving.

Harris N. Rosen has spent his life making order out of chaos. Harris is a trained mediator, settling over 200 cases for the state of Rhode Island and the Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island. Rosen has spent his life in a family candy manufacturing business, retiring some years ago. He resides on the East Side with his wife, Myrna. They have 5 married children and 10 grandchildren.

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