Monday, August 15, 2011

When the Time Comes

My husband was a pack rat. He had file cabinets overflowing with manila folders, folders in which he kept receipts for everything from computer equipment to styrofoam cups and paper clips, business contracts, cards and letters, scribbled notes, old lottery tickets (yes!), medical records and tax receipts. Somewhere among them were his will, long-term care policy and life insurance policy. Only because I tearfully insisted, did he take out those necessary papers before he went into the hospital for his stem cell transplant. If not, it would have taken me months to search for them after he died.

My year-long search of his files during my first year of widowhood turned up his sister's fifth grade three-ring binder, a poem he'd written about me and never showed me, and an investment he'd never gotten around to mentioning along with his car title, business contacts and a list of phone numbers I needed.

I vowed this would not happen to my children after my death. I gathered all my important information and put it in a small kit which I call When the Time Comes. The kit includes everything I could think of that the kids will someday need: end of life wishes, will, life insurance, IRA records, burial plot information, lists of friends to call, memorial service wishes, bank account numbers, safe deposit box key and bequests of personal property. I keep this kit in my study, and I've told my son and daughter exactly where to find it.

Death brings with it innumerable painful chores. Why add to them? This, to me, seems a solution. My children prefer to avoid the topic of what to do after I'm gone, but someday I'm sure they'll be glad I took on this task instead of leaving it to them. They'll have enough to cope with...when the time comes.


jyourist said... [Reply to comment]

My husband and I have just completed our "When the time comes" box. This is the one of the best things we can ever do for our children. Bravo to you and the urging of your post.

Annie Boreson said... [Reply to comment]

Great idea. I have never thought of doing that, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks!


Template by: Bright Sunshine Designs by Mary - Affordable Custom Blog Design © 2011