Your mom or dad had a health scare in the past, but right now they’re doing fine (knock on wood). Just the same, you can’t help but remember the anxiety you felt when you still weren’t certain how things would turn out.
You felt unprepared for the moment.
No matter how often you might have told yourself that they were getting older and their health would one day take a turn, you didn’t realize how hard it would hit you when it actually happened. Their mortality started to become very real to you.
You dropped everything to be there for them. For a while, it seemed you might have to look after their day-to-day affairs – as if worrying whether they’d pull through weren’t enough.
And that’s when you realized: you didn’t know where to find certain crucial pieces of personal information. Things like their banking information, details about their supplemental health insurance, or the slew of passwords you’d need to access any of their online accounts.
When things went more or less back to normal, you put the matter behind you. But now it’s nagging at you. Your parent’s illness was an emotional roller coaster. You could have done without running around in circles, chasing after missing pieces of their personal information.
You want to be prepared next time.
You’re thinking of asking them for the information now, while they’re relatively healthy so that you’ll have it on hand should you need to access it quickly in the future.
But what should you be asking them for? You have a few ideas, but you don’t want to forget anything that might be important.
Here’s a free, downloadable workbook you can get them to fill out. Or you can fill it out yourself when you’re talking with them in person or over the phone.
It will help you keep track of the following:
Power of Attorney documents
Real estate and vehicle information
Retirement home and nursing home preferences
Will information and important contacts
Investments and account information
That way, if anything should happen, you won’t have to search frantically for your parent’s information on top of everything else you’ll be trying to cope with.