Preparing for the inevitable (Family Control Journal cont’d)


As you have all read, my father passed away two few weeks ago. Unfortunately, he did not have a will or a medical directive, so we have been scrambling to take care of his financial affairs and had to make decisions at the hospital without knowing what he would have wanted. It has made losing him even more stressful. Of course, people die suddenly all the time and they may or not have made any preparations. However, this situation really made it clear to me that I want to have things in better order for my own kids (or my husband if I should pass before him). So I have created a checklist of things you should do to get your own affairs in order for when that time should come.


◊ Create a Family Control Journal Financial Information page. I have made a record-keeping sheet where you can write down or type basic information about your financial and medical affairs. This page would not include account numbers and specifics, but instead direct a loved one where to find that information and what accounts, etc. to be looking for. Click below to download my blank form you can personalize.

Financial info for Family Control Journal

◊ Check that your filing is up-to-date. I am horrible about doing this, but I realized how important it is because we have had to sort through piles of paper from my dad’s personal and business life. He had a system started, but very few things in each folder. That is my goal for this summer – to catch up on my own filing!


◊ Who will take care of your children (and/or pets) in the event that something happens to both you and your spouse (if you are married) or you (if you are single)?

◊ Who will handle your finances (this may be the same person or not, depending on if you have kids)?

◊ What medical directives do want followed for your own care?


◊ Will – There are many helpful online tools if you are unable to hire a lawyer. Check out this article “Prepare for your death online: 20 helpful tools” for links and descriptions.

◊ Power of attorney

◊ Medical directive


◊ Life insurance

◊ Important Phone Number list – See my post “Family Control Journal: Important Phone Numbers” for creating this. Note: I updated this form today to include a few more contacts. If you have already downloaded this, you may want to do it again to get the revised file.


◊ May of us have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc. The article “How to prepare for death in the digital age” includes information on how to handle our online identities after death.

* NOTE: If I have forgotten anything that should be on this checklist or on the Financial Information page, please let me know so I can correct it.

Related posts:


2 thoughts on “Preparing for the inevitable (Family Control Journal cont’d)

Add yours

  1. Why would someone be unable to hire a lawyer? Call and find out – most likely the first meeting will be free. You’ll learn all the things you were about to do wrong if you had done your own papers. And you will find out that the work is a lot more affordable than some impulse buy you were about to make. Do a favor for the people that will have to clean up your mess – see a lawyer and make a plan.

    1. I wish it were true that all of us could afford a lawyer, but it isn’t. That is why we never got our will done before. A couple hundred dollars or more extra in someone’s budget for the month is a lot! I appreciate your help, though, and hope to get all of these things done with you for us (as well as finishing up my dad’s estate).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: