101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Friday, September 4

They Make the Call...You're dead

I'm wondering how many of you were motivated by my post a little bit ago about living wills and talking with your family about what should happen if/when you die.

So, congratulations, you're dead.

If your loved one is near you right now, tell them the following scenario:

On the way to work this morning another driver ran a red light broadsiding you and you died. Your body has been taken to the medical examiner.

Does your loved one know what to do next? All the account numbers, access codes, insurance, who to call at your work, what kind of service you want, if at all. What to do about income, the bills etc etc.

Now let's take that a step further and imagine the following scenario:

You and your loved one are out for a movie when the same thing happens, only both of you are dead. Who cares for your children? Who can legally come and care for them? How will your family access your accounts, your matters and deal with your estate?

If you or your loved one said "I don't know" to any part of the above scenarios stop reading this and look into a living will. At least talk about what you want to have happen to you after you die. As soon as you have the aftermath figured out, now get into the details of your wishes should you be unable to make medical decisions for yourself. Who makes them? Do you trust your loved one more than your mother, brother or local legislature? Put it in writing and get it notarized because simply saying "He told me he wanted to die/live" is not legally binding. Terry Schiavo ring a bell?

Get your living will and all other important documents and make 3 copies. Put the originals in a binder in a common area of your home labeled Family Disaster Plan (Details on that soon). Send another copy to whoever you chose to care for your children should you die. Then send the third set to a trusted friend or family member away from you who is not likely to be involved in the same disaster should one occur. Seal it in an envelope labeled (FOR EMERGENCY ONLY) and ask them to file it away.

Now, tell each other person about the 3 copies and where you keep the binder. Should something happen to you someone need only open the binder and follow the instructions, having all the necessary legal documents in hand should any question arise.

This, my friends, is how you take care of your family when you are dead. We'll cover more about the Family Disaster Plan later, especially the sealed folder in the back labeled LODD.

Get things straightened out before the unthinkable happens.

4 comments:

The Grumpy Dispatcher said...

EXCELLENT advice.

Now no one who reads this has any excuses.

If any of you reading this are truly serious about putting your family as your first priority, there is no way you can NOT get this taken care of, now that you've been told.

Get it done.

Triple Beeper said...

Thanks for the reminder... The Husband and I have an appointment coming up with Wills For Heroes, and we have a bucketload of paperwork to do first.

If anyone (especially someone with say-so at a dept.) needs an idea where to start with this, I heartily suggest willsforheroes.org.

John said...

Happy,

My dad is dying right now of bone cancer & osteoporosis that has destroyed his vertebrae. He is in hospice on 20mg/hr of morphine and all day his long time girlfriend argues with me about whether he is able to make his own decisions, even though she saw him say everything very clearly before he went on the ms and so did the rest of the family. I've had to have his chart clearly marked that she has no legal standing to change his treatment. Having it in writing would have been nice.

Fire Critic said...

I just love the title of the post.

The post has great information too!

I need to get my stuff in order. I am looking forward to what you come up with to put in the LODD folder.