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It Can Happen to You

"It Can Happen to You"by: Joyce Moseley ... see it every day on the news. You get up and turn thetv on in the morning and learn that while you were ... others were involved in ... th

"It Can Happen to You"
by: Joyce Moseley Pierce

You see it every day on the news. You get up and turn the
tv on in the morning and learn that while you were sleeping,
others were involved in accidents that caused their death. As one
friend put it, "You watch the news and think that somehow your
family is protected from these tragedies. After all, these
people don't live in your neighborhood. They come from a
different social class. They were in the wrong place at
the wrong time." It wasn't until his 21 year-old sister was
killed in a skiing accident that he realized that all of
his justifications were wrong. Your family most certainly
can be affected.

Donna had asked her husband to write some things down for
her before his flight to the Middle East several years ago.
He scratched some things out on the back of an envelope and
told her she was being silly. He returned from that trip,
but a few short months later was killed by a drunk driver.

At least Donna had something to start with, but she wasn't
prepared for all of the questions the funeral home fired
at her. She knew what bank accounts they had, and had helped
with paying the bills over the years, but what about funeral
arrangements? Did he want to be buried in Louisiana with his
parents, or here in Texas where she and her family lived?
cremation or burial? What about the obituary for the
newspaper? Did she have all of the accurate information
they needed to write it?

Her emotions were raw as she tried to deal with the reality
of it all. Was this all just a bad dream that would soon
end? She just wanted to go home and grieve, but there were
too many things to think about.

* How long will it take to settle the estate?
* Will I have enough cash to live on until then?
* Will the insurance come before they foreclose on the house?
* Where is the real copy of the will?
* How can I prove stock ownership?
* Do I know about all bank accounts and insurance policies?
* How do I collect social security?
* Whose advice can I trust?

If you donít know the answers to these questions, now is a
good time for you to start thinking about them. What are some
things you can do to be better prepared for these situations?

1. Talk to your spouse (and donít forget your parents) and explain
the importance of working together to put this information
together now. Accidents arenít something we schedule!

2. Gather important papers. Include birth certificates,
pre-paid funeral arrangements, military records, current bank
and credit card statements, wills, safe deposit information
(bank, box number, authorized signers, contents), employment
information - insurance, savings plans, retirement accounts, etc.,
savings account statements, stock certificates, loan agreements,
automobile titles, health and life insurance.

3. Discuss the disposition of personal items. This will
help avoid family feuds when it comes time to decide who should
get grandfather's watch or mother's pearls.

4. Make copies of these documents and file the originals
in a safe place. A fireproof safe at home is recommended
so you'll have access to them on the weekend. You might even
consider scanning them and saving them to a CD.

5. Keep the information up to date. Decide to go through
these records at least annually to make sure the information
hasn't changed. Take this opportunity to discard outdated

6. Make sure someone in your family, and a trusted family
friend, knows where this information is stored so it can be
retrieved at a moment's notice. The fireproof box is a good
place to keep it along with your original documents, but be
sure to put it back each time you update the information.

You are doing your family a disservice if you don't prepare this
information for them while you're able. It doesnít make sense
to provide for them throughout your lifeHealth Fitness Articles, only to leave them
struggling when they need your guidance more than ever.

Source: Free Articles from


Joyce is a freelance writer and owner of Emerson Publications.She is the creator of "All They'll Need
to Know," a workbook to help families record personal and financial information. She is also the editor of
The Family First Newsletter, an ezine for families with young children.

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