Pre-planning can sound overwhelming and frankly, a bit morbid. We don’t want to think about our mortality or end of life. It brings up a lot of sadness and fear for us. However, if we can have some things in place “just in case”, we can help our family members, who aren’t likely thinking clearly, to get things in order. If we can take time to do this checklist once, and then review it every 6 months, updating it if needed, we can take that pressure off them, and make conscious choices when our mind is clear. Sometimes, emergency preparedness can be overwhelming, so take it in smaller bites, which is how we have it laid out for you. If you need help with this checklist or pre-planning in general, contact us to schedule a free appointment with our Family Care Providers.

The information contained within this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult your lawyer, pre-planning specialist or financial advisor for your next steps.

We have broken it down into a 8 week action plan which includes:

Creating an Emergency Contact List
Preparing your most important Emergency Documents
Documents for your loved ones
Your Annual Review Documents
Electronic Devices
Online Passwords
Inventory
End of Life Wishes

Week 1 – Preparing your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist: Emergency Contacts
This is good to have ready for any time you leave for vacation, hire a pet or baby sitter and more. It is also good to have it documented somewhere outside your cell phone for your own needs in case you lose or destroy it.

A list of important contacts to call in case of an emergency. This can include:

Spouse/Partner
Family Members
Doctors
Financial Advisor

If appropriate, put notes about who to contact or where to find additional information such as Medical Directives. If you have pets or children, leave specific notes for who should provide temporary care for them (and/or who shouldn’t, if applicable), and any information relevant to their care such as medical concerns.

In the case of lost or stolen wallet, you may also want a copy of your Driver’s License and information on your Credit Card and Bank Accounts. Login information information including username, password, security question answers, account numbers and lost/stolen contact phone numbers are recommended.

Week 2 – Preparing your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist: Emergency Documents These documents should be kept in a safe place and someone should be aware of how to access them. This can be a financial advisor, a trusted family member or a lawyer. In your ‘ICE’ envelope, you can leave information about where to find these documents as well, such as leaving the address for a safe-deposit box or home safe.

Keep in mind that safe-deposit boxes are only able to be accessed during regular banking hours, so only documents that don’t need to be accessed in an emergency should be kept there. Additionally, if you are the sole owner of the box, it could be weeks or months before it is able to be opened, so assign a second person or more to have access.

Compile these documents and have them in a safe but accessible place. If they aren’t complete or accurate, take time to do that this week.

Documents needed in case of an emergency:

Health Care Proxy

Living Will

Financial Power of Attorney

Week 3 – Preparing your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist: Emergency Documents For Your Loved Ones

>If your emergency results in a fatality, you will need to have additional documents available. Take some time to put these items together in a safe place and notify a designated person where to gain access to them.

Documents needed in case of your passing

Funeral Pre-planning Documents (including pre-payment arrangements)
Will
Trusts
Vehicle Titles
Land/Property Deeds
Insurance Paperwork
Mortgage Paperwork
Loan Paperwork
Investment Information
Bank Account Information
Birth Certificates
Adoption Records
Social Security Card
Marriage Certificates/ Divorce Decree
Documentation of Citizenship
Passport/ ID
Military Service ID
Safe Deposit Box and/or Storage Unit Access Information

Week 4 – Preparing your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist: Annual Review Documents

Put a reminder in your calendar to review these items, or review them on a significant date such as a holiday or birthday. Review them annually or more often if needed.

Insurance, including Life, Health, Auto, Home, Disability, Long Term Care, Umbrella and any others.

Benefits including employee sponsored insurance policies and investments.
Your other paperwork such as your Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will

To continue reading about the next 4 weeks of planning, check out “Your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist Part 2”.

Fairmount has been serving Denver families with their end of live needs since 1890. You have nothing to lose when meeting with our Family Care Providers to begin your pre-planning process wherever you are in your life. Our Family Care Providers will meet with you in your home or in our private offices that look and feel like a living room. We want you to feel comfortable and cared for. Give us a call today at 303-399-0692.