Being Prepared

Updated on January 03, 2009
T.L. asks from Keller, TX
9 answers

In the past, I have witnessed other people I know be at a total loss when their husband or parents die unexpectedly. I would like to be prepared if something like that happens. I want to create a form for my parents to complete "in the event of" sudden illness or death. Can anyone tell me what all information I need to have? So far I can think of the following:

instructions in case of sickness
burial insurance information
life insurance information
burial preferences
funeral preferences

Please, no negative reponses. Just trying to be prepared. I'm the oldest of two for my mom and also for my dad.

TIA,
Tamara

1 mom found this helpful

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S.

answers from Dallas on

take a look at www.texasprobate.com. There are a number of forms available to the public such as Medical Directive (living will), appointment of guardian, etc. Nothing wrong with what you are doing, although you need to step back and let parents do the planning.

More Answers

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

My dad, mom and step dad have prepaid, preplanned services already. I am a plane ticket away from them so all I will do will be to fly in.

It sounds as if you are close to you family and that is very nice of you to take charge. I have 1 brother and we are not close with our mom and extended family so we just go with the flow.

As for my family, hubby and I have plans made for us and our daughter.

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

I think the easiest way is to prepare all of that for yourself and giving it to them, and of course simply asking them to reciprocate with their information. This is what I did, and it makes it a lot easier to ask if you have done the same thing.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I concur - easiest way to ask is for you to do it first, then give it to them and ask them if they'd be interested in reciprocating.

S.

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V.T.

answers from Dallas on

I think this is a great idea and have done the same with my mom and my siblings. I made sure at least 2 of my siblings knew where all my documents are and I know where at least 3 of my siblings documents are. I also know where my parents keep everything. I don't have copies of anything, but I know where they are, bills (mortgage, utilities, credit cards, etc), insurance info, investment info, Wills, Directives, etc. This way, in the event of an illness or death, I know where to find everything to settle the estate. My husband's family was not prepared for his father's passing, and it has been 2 years and everything is not straightened out. My husband was the person in charge of settling the estate, and I still don't think he has properly grieved for his father because he is always taking care of the business aspect of it. My grandmother had everything in order and her estate was settled in 4 months and my family was able to grieve properly since they weren't consumed by business. It is sad to think about and no one wants to discuss it, but it is better to discuss everything when people are alive and healthy, then when they are sick, or trying to figure it out after death. If your parents have Wills and other legal documents find out their attorney. Their attorney should have copies of all legal documents, so you can access them after they pass. Also, do forget you and your sibling. You should exchange information with each other as well, especially when it comes to the care of your children.

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R.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,

If you feel comfortable asking your parents I have a few recommendations:
I highly recommend asking your parents to write you and your sibling seperate letters. That is one of the things that I wish my parents had done for me before they passed away. You are right, it is very difficult to know what to do. I recomend you asking your parents if they have all their important papers together:insurance, bills,checking accounts, savings, etc. It would be helpful for someone to know where everything important is kept in there home. Some people preplan what they would like at their funereals: songs, minister preferance, ministry to send money to instead of flowers, where you would like to be buried, etc..

At some point in the future I plan to take care of all these details so my family won't have to do that. After you have been the one to make all the decisions for your parents, the ideas I have written might come to your mind and more. I think you are doing a good thing in preparing ahead of time. No one wants to do this type of thing but if you are able to work on this now it will be easier the day you have to take care of a very difficult situation.
Have a nice day! R.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

Hospitals ask people when they come in for procedures if they have a plan for themselves. Perhaps you can talk to them about a living will which will help from the time they cannot do anything until the actual will takes over. If you have questions contain an attorney for advice and suggestions. If you or your spouse have wishes make sure you write them down now while you have faculties in tact. Take you parents out separately for lunch and gently ask them what they have in mind for the end days. You might be surprised as to their thoughts. Good luck to you for thinking this far in advance. I remember working in an insurance company in the late 60s and watching many wives come in after losing their husband having no clue as to what to do. Our claims clerk would spend hours with each just helping console them and get all the forms in order to get the insurance claim sent off. So yes, times have changed in some ways and in others it has not. The other S.

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J.S.

answers from Houston on

This is a great idea! The only thing I wanted to add is about having a medical directive or whatever it is technically called. Example: If you were in a coma or a bad accident & may not live, who is your guardian...the one who makes the decisions for you? Do you want to be kept alive by artificial means? Have something written down so there is no fighting between your family members.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

Aside from the things you've mentioned, you need to address life-care and medical directives with them as well and get all the appropriate forms in order. In today's privacy-driven HIPAA world, hospitals and physicians cannot BY LAW discuss health issues with you without consent from the patient, no matter what your relation to them. If you have medical directives, medical power of attorney, etc., then you will be in charge of their care should they no longer be able to make decisions for themselves. Plus, you'll know whether they would want to remain on life-support or not be kept in a vegetative state and many other care options.

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