Life is beautiful and terribly tragic all in one breath. We can't see what the future holds, but must carry on with faith from one day to the next. While dwelling on death and destruction is morbid and depressing, preparing and easing the strain on our loved ones should something happen is one of the best gifts imaginable.
I have written about the documents you need, the discussions you should have and the key decisions to be made should anything happen to you and/or your spouse/partner, but I haven't mentioned that you should also know how and where to find all the key information in this worst case scenario. Of course, this applies to you and your honey, but I'm also talking about knowing where your parents', in-laws' and/or grandparents' important information is stored.
This kind of information is easy to skip over. My parents always tell me where their "file" is when they are about to embark on a trip, but honestly I just don't want to think about their eventual, inevitable absence and kind of just gloss over their explanation. I think I could find it, but don't know precisely what they have said to me over the years. I have a friend whose parents call this file the "When we kick the bucket" file in an attempt to make the subject more light hearted. She and her sister know where to locate this file.
Knowing the account numbers and locations, portfolios, amounts, properties owned, debts, credits due and preferences immediately upon incapacitation or death can be a huge help to those left to handle the situation while grieving a loss. Getting all of this information together is the first step, as I have discussed before, but then next step to discuss where you have the information.
It all sounds very simple and it's something many of our parents have done, but heaven help the person who might have to go through and find our information and accounts. I certainly do not have a "When we kick the bucket" file. I think those of us in our 20s, 30s and 40s are still in the "I'm invincible" phase to a degree when it comes to this topic. We are too busy running to and from work, cooking dinner, helping our kids with their activities and school, paying bills and getting by from day to day to think about the end of our days, until something happens. When that something happens, it might be too late.
It's a difficult topic to discuss altogether, especially when we think of our children and our mortality and our emotions get the best of us, but the hard truth is that we simply don't know what each day holds. Disaster and death can occur at anytime, not just when we are about to embark on a long distance trip to an island across an ocean or to the opposite side of the world. So, start talking and once you have decided the horribly complicated questions about guardianship, executed and signed all the key documents, gathered your information into one place with directions regarding accounts, etc. and have a "When we kick the bucket" file, tell a few people who need to know where it is.
Now, to heed my own advice; that is the difficult part of this issue. Over and out...