I haven't given anyone an assignment lately. That's my only excuse for encouraging you, dear denizens, to follow the link to Ronni Bennett's post on Elder Orphans and then to get your affairs in order.
Elder Orphans are those of a certain age without family or friends to care for them should the need arise. They are the people whose circles have shrunken, leaving only themselves behind. For them, not having a person is serious business.
Those of us who have people, are usually guilty of leaving them uninformed and frustrated when needs arise. Daddooooo's ongoing care needs sent me into their Health File for the long term care insurance information; it took months of conversations and reading and examining and thinking and considering and studying before I had a handle on it... and then he was in hospice and then he died.
G'ma, seeing the tumult, promised that she would have everything organized, and, true to her word, she did. When she moved here, I prepared a large purse with all her documentation, a notebook and several pens, a phone charger, Kashi bars, a stack of crossword puzzles and a small book. When the phone rang at 5am, I just had to put on my shoes and shorts, grab the bag, and head for the hospital.
I knew what she wanted for her end of life care. I knew who had which proxies, and all three of her children knew who was responsible for what. It was hard to watch her fail, but that difficulty was not exacerbated by the need to locate documents or figure out her wishes.
So, if you don't have an updated will, do it. If you don't have your financials easily findable, make it be so. If your family is uncertain about any details, now is the time to talk them out.
No matter how frustrated I became, watching G'ma's decline, I never failed to thank her for being prepared. It was a true gesture of love.
Ronni's post will give you impetus and direction. Click over there now.