Even though no one wishes to be sick or disabled, these situations cannot be predicted at times. As such, the best thing to protect yourself is to plan for such emergencies in the future. In the case when you’re disabled or too medically unwell to figure out your medical treatments, it’s up to your family members or other trusted individuals to make the plans for you. However, some important information about yourself like a living will, financial records, and other legal documents can be difficult to access without your permission and can slow down the process. Therefore, getting your affairs in order help benefit your family members and others to retrieve such information without many troubles, allowing you to receive your medical care efficiently and on time. Here are the steps to get your affairs in order.
Organize Your Important Documents in One Place
Having multiple important documents to oversee can get stressful and the risk of losing them is high. As such, try to organize them by getting a folder and placing all the papers into it. Since these papers are of important information, keep them safe and secure by placing the file into a drawer or safe deposit box. You can further remind yourself of where the papers are located by jotting down a note on your phone. These are a few examples of information that you need to have as important documents:
- Social Security number
- Legal residence
- Certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, etc.
- Education and military records
- List of employers and dates of employments
- Names and phone numbers of family members, friends, doctors, relatives, etc.
- List of medications
- A will
Important documents also include financial records, such as sources of income and assets, insurance information, a list of banks and account numbers, a list of mortgages and debts, and other liabilities.
Tell a Friend or Family Member About the Location of the Documents
You don’t have to tell your entire family about where you place the documents, but just one or two trusted family members or friends are good enough. This ensures that your documents are in a secure location and will not be exploited for the wrong reasons. If you do not have any friends or family members who you can trust, you can get a lawyer to help. In the case of an emergency, they can immediately access your important documents without your instructions.
Consider Your End-of-Life Care Preferences with Your Doctor
If you already have plans and preferences for your end-of-life care, make sure to speak to your doctor in order for your wishes to be honored. Doing so can also allow your respective doctor to inform you of all the health decisions and treatments available for you. What’s more, advance planning sessions do not come with a cost through Medicare. For those who opt for private hospital visits, private insurance can help to cover the costs as well.
When it comes to making decisions about your care needs, a bill, or health insurance claim, there’s a need for you to consent to those agreements. If your caregiver does not have permission to access your important documents, they aren’t able to perform their role. Therefore, keep in mind to grant permission to your caregiver and let the credit card company, bank, Medicare, and doctor be aware of your consent. There may be a form that you have to sign in order to grant permission.