Be Aware, Prepare, and Take Notes


The extreme cold spell began its second week. A weather warning that -32C (-41C with the wind chill) meant extra clothing layers and minutes for Mister and I to dress for New Year’s Eve. We bundled up and walked to T & E’s place for card night. The playing was paused long enough to catch a television countdown and welcome in 2018.

This post’s topic may be one you’ve given some thought, maybe you’re already prepared, but maybe you haven’t thought about it at all. Sorry, in advance if the subject is a bit of a downer, but sometimes reality sucks.

While I washed for bed the other night, recent completed projects from my to-do list came to mind. Whether triggered by another year end or just the winter slowdown, something spurred Mister and I to do some planning for the future, by preparing for the end. Not because we’re hiding an illness. It was for peace of mind.

In many partnerships, bill paying and such is done mostly by one person. Since together our decisions have been joint efforts, I take care of a few accounts, but Mister is our main money handler. So, we listed and reviewed what each is looking after, giving us both a fresh and clear knowledge of finances. 

If something happened to you or your partner, would the other know important details?

  • What monthly bills can be expected?
  • Where are bank accounts? Are there non-joint accounts? If so, is a beneficiary named?
  • Where are all credit card accounts? Are there non-joint ones?
  • Are there, and if so, where are, investments and insurances? 

Be aware, I’ve heard some utility companies, after the fact, charge a re-hook-up fee to switch accounts from one partner’s name to the other, even if you’re married. Another thing I’ve heard is, the partner whose name hasn’t been on accounts has issues, because they haven’t established a credit record.

Then there’s subscriptions or services that are set up for automatic renewal and payment. Computer programs for example. I have a couple on my laptop that Mister wouldn’t be interested in keeping, and he wasn’t aware of them because they come out of an account I manage.

Social Media accounts are a chaos all their own. Which ones are you on, and should they be deleted?

What about point or loyalty cards? Can you both access these? Do you know which can be transferred? Should they be under joint names? I still have to check into some of these. True, many may not be important enough to worry about. But, if they have significant rewards collected, why lose what you’ve earned.

Being a published author, I have sites and online accounts that need attention if I’m not capable, so notes on these were worth jotting down.

Do you stash cash? Are your hiding places ones no one will find? If you want a loved one to receive this money not a stranger someday stumbling across it, then maybe leave a hint? I’ve known people who put bills under floorboards and sewed them in skirt hems.

Be prepared in case sickness or worse happens. Take a few minutes to list information and put it with your Will or someplace safe.

In times of stress and sadness even daily tasks can overwhelm a person. Don’t add trying to find and figure out these simple details to someone you care about.

Perhaps I’m too sentimental, but I learned after our parents all passed that many stories behind items they cherished were lost. So, another project I’m doing is marking items that can be, leaving notes in boxed ones, or listing others.

It’s not that we have items of marketable value, yet we’ve kept things like Mister’s grandpas straight razor pictured above, along with old watches and other jewelry from past generations.

Our kids may not be interested, but if they are, they will have the history behind these treasured trinkets.

Here’s a dilemma. I always presumed our fireproof home safe would be sufficient protection for valuable documents, pictures, etc. Then, in casual conversation with a firefighter he informed me that not all of them are water proof. They may leak in flooding or even if exposed to excessive water during a fire unless they specify both fire/water on them. Ours only states, fire, so my brainwave was, I’ll zip lock stuff then the water damage threat is solved. But, how heat resistant are they, I certainly don’t want a melted plastic mess inside. But, if papers and USB sticks are safe, a baggy should be, right?

My advice is to consider your needs and research options before investing in a safe.

Sometimes, I think, I think too much. But, I do believe in precautions and being prepared if I can.

I did get happier projects done from my to-do list too, but the above were one’s weighing on us for a while now.

Oh, our cold spell is over for now. The coming week’s daily forecast is for temperatures from, plus 3C to -8C. A nice change.

Are you a planner?

Are your ducks, regarding the future, as they say, in a row?

If you know more facts about safes, I’d love to hear them?

23 thoughts on “Be Aware, Prepare, and Take Notes

  1. I love the fact that you two can talk about this so freely. I think everyone should. I’ve dealt with death of more than a few family members, and (no judgment) I’m always amazed that they’ve never had this conversation with their loved ones, even if terminal illness is pending. Anywho, thanks for this guide. I was also surprised to hear about how companies treat these situations.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Always best to be prepared. Sparky and I share the responsibilities and we are meticulous with making lists and spreadsheets and such… On the list for 2018 is to revisit the will and possibly set up a living trust (after we talk to our financial adviser)..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is very good advice. We try to keep things in both names, but some companies don’t make it easy. Maybe they want those fees you mention. My wife manages the bills. I’d probably screw that up, as it’s been 35 years since I handled them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It seems like things are so much more complicated than they were. Maybe that is the reasoning for some companies to make it hard for joint accounts. I’m not sure how Mister got elected, but it’s worked for us. Your 35 years is a long time, only a few years short of mine, and that is one reason we wanted to do this. I don’t want to be overwhelmed if I have to get back into it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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