TOTD

Where do your children live? When you turn 90, it’s time to get your act together. One of our sons and his family live five houses from the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast. The other son and his family are a very short distance from the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.

Since they can’t come to Kokomo often and haven’t lived here for years, they need to learn more about our business than they realize. It took more than a week to create a list of people they should have if we aren’t available. The current phone books do not have information they might need in case they have to make decisions quickly. If you happen to be in our situation, you might be interested in the kind of information that has been gathered, printed, and will be shared with them before they need it. We’ve also given copies to close friends in case our sons come home without their copies.

The first section includes life, long-term health, automobile, and house insurance. You may have other kinds of insurance to add to this list. Many people have stocks and bonds. We don’t. But, we each have IRA accounts, and our sons definitely need to know where they are. The bank is listed along with the checking account number. You might have a savings account that should be included, too.

Where we have a safety deposit box is given along with the location of the key in our house that allows them to get to that information. They must visit the bank and sign papers allowing them to get into that box before an emergency arises. In the box are copies of important documents such as abstracts, deeds, social security numbers, retirement information, wills, and birth certificates. You may want to include pictures of the exterior and interior of your house in case there is a fire, tornado, or other unexpected visitor. Pass codes to obtain information from businesses such as banks, investments, AT&T, and retirement funds are a necessity for anyone in charge of your business. Unless they know the pass codes, they cannot obtain information they must have.

Our sons need to know we avoid late fees and postage costs by having utilities automatically taken out of our checking account. Since they may not be familiar with some of our current activities, they have been given the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of people including our accountant, attorney, realtor, funeral director, minister, and friend who has said he’d be responsible for taking care of disposing of the house contents. A few close friends have keys to our house.

We’ve already contacted a funeral director, and he knows we don’t want money wasted on a fancy funeral. In case you didn’t know, a veteran and spouse can be buried in the National Cemetery at Marion for far less than local cemeteries charge. Our sons, who would be responsible in an emergency, need all the information they can be given in advance.