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How To Help Your Family In The Event Of An Emergency.

Although we often think that we are invincible and that bad stuff only happens to other people, the fact remains that it can happen to anyone at any time.

How would your family fare if something were to happen to you suddenly? I am not talking necessarily about life insurance and your investments, which are things that you should already have going on a regular basis. Protecting your loved ones with financial assistance is a big part of helping them, but there can be a lot of other things that you might want to have written down somewhere safe for them as well.

For us, I have created a notebook that has all the information my wife would need in the event that something happens to me suddenly and I am not able to tell her about certain things. Since I make the majority of our money and handle all the monetary issues, she needs to be filled in on a lot of things that she might not worry about on a day to day basis. This notebook is stored in the safe in our house, and has everything she would need to keep the household going for a while in the event that I was not here to do so. Talk this notebook over with your family/significant other, let them ask questions about certain things, ask them if there is anything else they would want included in it, and put their mind at ease about being able to handle things if anything ever went wrong. Although the information in my book would probably not match what you should have in yours, here is a good list to get you started.

  • Financial documents – All the information needed to access every last penny of our money. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, investments, emergency funds, credit cards, etc. Web addresses, log in information, email addresses, you name it…it is all there for my wife to be able to get to everything related to our money.
  • Insurance documents – Everything related to our insurance, whether it be health, life, rental, earthquake or whatever. Policy numbers, agent phone numbers and addresses and important policy information regarding claims, etc.
  • Contact numbers – We have a full list of contact names that either of us can call, just in case. Relatives, friends, business contacts…email addresses, phone numbers and postal addresses are all very accessible.
  • Business information/income – Since I work from home and have multiple streams of income/employers, my wife would need to know how to log on to certain things to see what is going on. I run two blogs, both of which take up a lot of my time and have some income coming in every month, so I would want her to know how to maintain/sell/find writers for both of them so that she can continue to earn a little money on the side should I not be able to run them anymore. This includes my log in information for the blogs, current projects I am working on for different employers, contact info for “blog friends” that she can contact to help her out and the information for my invoicing account, so she can be sure to collect any unpaid monies from clients.

  • So as you can see, having just your life insurance information available to your spouse might not be enough to really help them out in case you were not around to do so. It would be hard enough dealing with the fact that something happened, you should try to make that possibility easier on them by spelling everything out that you think they might need. You can use a notebook, a CD, or a USB thumb drive to save this info, but we found that for this “I need it right away” information, a notebook works best for us. We do save important documents on backup drives and USB drives as well, but this notebook is the key item for “Just In Case” situations. It can be updated very easily by either one of us, and we can see any and all history of the book as well. So give it some thought; is your family truly prepared if something were to happen to you tomorrow?


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