Personal Emergency Plan: What Would You Want a Loved One to Know?

What Would You Want a Loved One to Know?

There are many reasons including an untimely death that might call for help from a friend or loved one. You would want to let others know your wishes in case you were in an accident and your personal business needed to be taken care of immediately.

Young adults often do not want to think about these things. Most people don't stop to think of all the issues that need to be addressed daily or weekly. What happens in your day to day life that others might need to address? If you don’t want to think of these things for yourself, think about helping out that person who is trying to see you through a sickness. Think about how much harder life might be when you return home only to see mold growing in the refrigerator and piles of unpaid bills. Would you see piles of newspapers or circulars on your porch?

What's important to me?

  • Do you have a pet? Even goldfish need a certain amount of care.
  • You might want to ask someone to have the post office hold your mail.
  • Many of us get our bills online, but do not have the bills paid with auto pay. What bills do you want paid first? What if your pay check stops, and you do have bills such as your car payment deducted automatically from your bank account? If there is little or no money left, the bank will continue to return drafts from companies and charge you a fee. If someone does not know this, you may want to leave instructions in a place that can be accessed easily.
  • If you will be out of work for any length of time, who should be notified? Your job, of course, but what about credit card companies. When you come home from the hospital, talking to the credit card company or loan companies would be much easier if they had been notified of your situation.

What services could you do without while recovering? Do you need a movie service or new paper subscription (either paper or online) if you are in the hospital? Notify your service provider of the person who has the authority to stop these services or at least put them on hold. Many of these services are easy to pick back up once you’re on your feet plus you have saved yourself a little money which always helps during a hospital stay.

  • This is not an article about accident insurance, but insurance that will cover everyday expenses when you are unable to work is a major help. Many companies do not offer this type of coverage.
  • Build up that rainy day fund.

Sit down for an hour and ask yourself what you would need help with if you were sick. Deciding what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and who should be asked to help will be a great help.


What about technology?

  • Do you have a record of current passwords? Maybe you should make a file box and let someone know where that can be located? if you have someone trustworthy, give them instructions on your screen password, and let them know where the other password records are located on your computer.
  • It is important that someone knows how to access information that is stored on your cell phone. if you are in the hospital someone may have to access friends on facebook..
  • If all of these sounds like too much to tell someone, make a notebook with information in it that can be used by a friend who may be looking after you when in the hospital.
  • Do you have friends that you talk to often? Would you want these people notified? A lot of people might miss you online, but do they know any other way to check on you?
  • Does someone have a key to your home in order to bring you items you may need?


What about death?

· None of us want to think about dying, especially those just starting out in life.

· Those who love you need to know if you are an organ donor. They need to know if you have strong feelings about cremation or burial.

  • If you have lived in other cities, do they have a list of people you might want to notify?
  • Do you have strong feeling about being buried in a certain area of the country?
  • Do you have certain music or pictures that you might want others to share?
  • Maybe there is a special friend that you want to leave something to such as a musical instrument, etc.

· A written request signed by two witnesses will work. Your gift might be very meaningful to someone.

In Case of Death

If someone has passed away, it is definitely important to know where critical information can be found, especially the Social Security Number.

  • Social Security numbers are needed for a death certificate. Without a death certificate it will be difficult for friends or family members to take care business.

Some people may have given these issues some thought while others may be thinking about these issues as a reality for the first time. Contacting businesses during a time of grief is emotional and hard, Having these papers and information ready to help your friends and loved ones may be a wonderful help and a gift.


Final Wishes

Have you talked to anyone about final wishes?

  • I have talked to one or two family members
  • I have approached the subject with a friend.
  • I do not want to think about this issues.
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    Do Friends and Family Know Your Wishes?

    Have you talked to a friend or loved one about how they could help during a time of illness or death

    • I have talked to several friends/family members about what I would need if I was sick or in a serious accident.
    • I have vaguely talked to a friend about helping during a personal illness.
    • I do not think this subject is important to me at this time.
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