6 Things to Keep in a Safe Place for an Unexpected Family Emergency

In an emergency situation, the right information could save the life of a loved one. Emergency contacts, medication information, Social Security number, insurance details, knowledge of financial affairs — these are just some of the details one will need if your or a family member becomes ill, goes into the hospital or unexpectedly passes away.

The Family Emergency Card is a flash drive that contains a PDF workbook, to document and store emergency information like bank accounts, medical information, passwords, details needed to care for your children, pets, home, medical needs, business matters and more, should something happen to you. It’s about the same size as a credit card, and it lets you keep all your emergency info in one place. You can keep it in a secure place like a safe or locked file cabinet.

Here is just some of the information you can store on the Family Emergency Card for unexpected family emergencies.

1. Financial details

In an emergency, financial obligations such as hospital expenses, mortgage payments, rent payments, car note payments, utility bills, final arrangement expenses, and other financial obligations, will still need to be paid. The Family Emergency Card lets you store bank accounts, investment accounts, insurance details, a list of your current expenses, Power of Attorney, and other information.  If you or family member is unexpectedly hospitalized, for example, important financial information can be accessed to ensure financial matters are handled.  Powered by SecureMyLegacy, the Family Emergency Card keeps emergency information accessible when needed. A trusted, nominated person can insert the card into a computer’s USB port and make sure financial obligations are met.  Billions of dollars in assets go unclaimed in the United States because people are unaware of their loved one’s bank accounts, investment accounts, and life insurance policies [1].

2. Emergency Contacts

The Family Emergency Card also keeps information about emergency contacts in one place, so the right people can get the information they need quickly. This can include contact information for employers, doctors, lawyers, insurance agents, schools, debtors, and business associates.

3. Dietary Requirements and Allergy Information

You can store dietary requirements and allergy information on your Family Emergency Card. In an emergency situation, you can provide these details to caregivers, doctors or hospital staff. Research shows that as many as 15 million Americans have food allergies [2] — including nearly 6 million children under the age of 18 — so it’s a good idea to store dietary information in case of an emergency.

4. Medical Needs

Your Family Emergency Card could save you or your loved one’s life by providing paramedics, hospital staff and caregivers with the right medical information. You can document and store a wide range of details on this card, such as insulin requirements if you or a loved one is diabetic.

5. Passwords

The Family Emergency Card provides your loved ones the ability to access your cell phone, safe, online accounts, cryptocurrency (e.g. bitcoin, ethereum) keys, apps, email accounts and other digital assets.  A nominated person can access and take care of accounts if you go into the hospital, become unexpectedly incapacitated or find yourself in any other emergency situation.   Not just for unexpected family emergencies; keep track of your own login credentials.  Research shows that 17 percent of internet users forget their online passwords [3], so keeping this information in a secure place with your other emergency information, makes sense.

6. Information About Pets

If you have them; information about your pets and how to take care of them, should also be stored on your Family Emergency Card.  Details such as their diet, veterinarian, groomer, daily routine, temperament,  micro-chip, medical history, favorite toy, and other information can all be stored on the Family Emergency Card.
 
Nobody wants to think about an emergency situation, but preparing for the future could provide the right people with the right information at the right time. The Family Emergency Card lets you and your loved ones store all of the data above and so much more. Created by a certified estate and trust specialist, it contains forms that capture almost every piece of information that’s needed in an emergency situation, providing caregivers, parents, seniors, pet owners, people who live alone, business owners and others with peace of mind.

For more information about creating a family emergency plan and what to document for unexpected family emergencies, learn more at Family Emergency Card today.

About the Editor: Bryan Beeler is a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist.

Single Parent? How to make sure your kids are cared for in case of an emergency.

Life Can Change in an Instant

You simply never know when a family emergency will strike. Car accidents, weather-related catastrophes, natural disasters like floods and earthquakes, or simply taking public transit to work can result in a tragedy, including injury, hospitalization and even death. It always pays to be prepared in advance, and for single parents, it’s even more critical in order to ensure that your wishes for your kids are carried out.

Only You Know What’s Best for Your Children

It’s your child-and in many cases, your children. You know exactly what you would like to happen to them in the event of your serious injury or death. Who would be best to care for your children, how your money and assets should be managed and distributed, who to contact first and where you would like your children to live.

But if you don’t leave specific instructions, others will make decisions for your children – without your guidance and oftentimes, against what you would have wished for.

So here’s what to do: at the very least, prepare a “letter of instruction” for what should happen in the event of your untimely or unexpected death. Think of this letter as a “map” – with all the important locations marked that show where to find all the key items that will be needed in order to ensure your wishes are fulfilled and your children are taken care of, should a family emergency occur leaving you unable to take care of your child or children.

What to Include in Your Letter

First of all, you have to let people know where to find things. Where’s your will? Where’s your binding agreement with whomever will be caring for your children? What about your life insurance policies, pension or IRA or your Veteran’s benefits if you’re entitled to them? Not to mention where they can find other key assets, like stocks and bonds and real estate. Also, be sure to list where people can find your valuable papers and items.

The last thing you want is for people to be scrambling to search for all the pertinent information. One of the easiest ways to aggregate all the key info is to have a Family Emergency Card. It will have all of your files, passwords, finances, medical, legal and contact info all in one secure place. You can learn more about it here.

It’s also very important to make sure you’ve made it very clear who’s in charge! Is it a lawyer? Accountant? Estate planner? Or maybe it’s you aunt Agnes? And whoever it is, have a discussion with that person about what you’ve done, where things are, and what you want!

What Happens if You Don’t Leave Instructions?

Quite honestly, this information is the most important part of this article.

Because if you don’t leave instructions, and that includes a will, family members will be fighting over who controls your kids as well as your estate when family emergencies strike, and the only winners will be the lawyers who get involved. You have specific intentions on the type and place of care for your kids, and unless it’s properly documented and all the required information is available, you’re intentions will go by the wayside.

Sadly, once you’re gone there isn’t anything you can do. It must be done in advance, and it must be legally binding. That’s why you need a will, and that’s just for starters. This isn’t just about who gets to keep your priceless guitar collection, for example. It’s who gets to make decisions that will impact your children on a daily basis should a family emergency happen.

Where you live can make a huge difference as well. In some states, if you die without a will your ex can inherit just about everything you leave – including all the assets that were intended for your kids. Other states will divvy up the assets, with about almost half going to your parents. If they’re no longer alive, it will go to your brothers and sisters – even if you’re estranged from them. Just remember that a family emergency can strike at any time, and the best preparation is a Family Emergency Card that provides all the necessary information needed to carry out your wishes.

Everyone Will Benefit

Here’s something else to think about: it isn’t only your kids who will benefit from your letter of instruction and putting all of your paperwork in order. You’ll enjoy peace-of-mind the minute you have organized everything. So will all of your friends, relatives and business associates, if you own a business with others.

But the biggest winners are your kids. They won’t be placed in limbo, wondering what will happen to them now that you’re no longer around. And that should be the motivation to get things done!

For more information about creating a family emergency plan and how to make sure your kids are cared for in an emergency, learn more at Family Emergency Card today.

About the Editor: Bryan Beeler is a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist.

Family Emergencies – 6 Things a Caregiver Should Document

Caregivers help people with aging diseases, illnesses, and with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, among many other conditions – live a better quality life and feel more comfortable day in and day out. Keep in mind, a caregiver is also referred to as a caretaker.  Caregivers may be hired, or you may be providing care for a loved one yourself. Nonetheless, it is a number one duty to know important & personal information about the loved one that is being cared for as this will help caregivers care, treat, and manage health status & wellness. But what if something happens to you, the caregiver?

In this article, you will learn what data caregivers should document, this way, you can ensure your child with special needs, aging parent, or ill family member or friend is taken care of if caregiver services are halted—due to hospitalizations, illnesses, job changes, or even death.

Keep in mind, when people are involved in family emergency situations, it is often difficult to get vital information in one place. Important information includes:

  • Family & friend contacts
  • Allergies/current medications
  • Financial accounts for medical expenses
  • Medical insurance information
  • Patient medical conditions
  • Living expenses

The answers and information above often go overlooked when dealing with family emergencies. This is why it is crucial to obtain a Family Emergency Card.

Caregivers Need to Document Patient Needs:

As a caregiver, you will need to document vital patient information, so another caretaker can take over when you are unable to.

Note* If you fail to gather the data below, you could potentially cost people large sums of money or their life.

  1. Make sure to document a list of all patient medications, dosages, allergies, and medical history from immediate family members. The more you know, the better off you will be. After all, you wouldn’t want to accidentally administer too much medication. Knowing these imperative facts will help keep a loved one alive longer and feeling good.
  1. Document nutritional guidelines, meal choices, and daily regimes. In order for any human body to properly function and heal, certain nutrients and minerals are needed per individual. Feed your patients healthy foods they like by documenting their likes and dislikes. Keep open communication with them every chance you get.
  1. Doctor contact information-having this information on hand will give you and your patient peace of mind. Doctors are aware of personal medical issues, this is the best person who should be sent to the rescue when a devastating family emergency situation is occurring.
  1. Past surgeries-when you know about invasive surgeries, you can alert the doctor and the future caregiver if you properly document what the patient is unable to communicate.
  1. What exact condition(s) does your patient have? Documenting what he or she suffers from will help future caregivers know what to do and how to make loved ones feel relief.
  1. Caregivers will need to document financial information, including insurance policy numbers; in some cases, a power of attorney will be needed, if the patient cannot pay for his or her medical or living expenses on their own. Some caregivers take on this responsibility, depending on the condition of the patient.

Being a good caregiver requires that you know your patient in-and-out, otherwise, if you leave out critical facts, not only will you damage one life, but you will endanger your own, especially if your negligent documentation causes a negative outcome.

Always document vital patient information for the next caregiver, and help loved ones feel comfortable, so they communicate with complete transparency.

For more information about creating a family emergency plan and caregiving tips, learn more at Family Emergency Card today.

About the Editor: Bryan Beeler is a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist.