The Questionnaire Of Death
I'm getting to the point in my life where I am helping in the end of life discussions and decisions of family members. A dear friend and regular reader of this blog is in hospice now, having fought cancer despite extensive chemo. His wife summoned me to Memphis last month to help with the logistics and decision making.
Having gone through that with them, I realized I need to have some extensive conversations with my parents, as well as Kendel's, about their desires and resources to pay for end of life care. It's difficult to make those decisions when you're dealing with a terminally ill family member. To the extent you can make plans and decisions when everyone is healthy, it will reduce your stress level exponentially.
In the next few weeks, our parents will be getting a questionnaire from me, designed to elicit critical information to help us make end of life decisions for our parents. I mentioned I was doing this to a friend of mine, and since she's dealing with this herself, she asked me to provide her a copy of what I came up with.
Below is a list of things I want to know. This is a working draft, so if you have suggestions, please leave comments below or on the Facebook page:
What facility would you like to use for hospice care? Nursing home care?
Have you visited these facilities?
Questions regarding your finances
If we need to quickly access bank accounts or investment accounts to pay for your care, where can we find the account information with which to do that?
What non-liquid assets should we liquidate first to pay for your care?
Do you have a safe or lock box, at home, the bank, or at your office? If so, where are they located? How can we make access to them?
Questions regarding legal documents
Do you have an advanced directive? Where is it located? When was it last updated?
Do you have a will? Where is it located? When was it last updated?
Where can we find your social security number? Passwords and PINs for your various accounts?
Questions regarding the winding up of businesses
What are your instructions on how to wind up your business?
What sort of end of employment compensation would you want us to provide to your employees?
It's my hope you find some of these questions useful. While the upcoming holidays are meant to be fun and festive, they may also be times of reflection and planning for the future. A few minutes working through this exercise can save you a lot of time and aggravation in the future under more stressful circumstances.
Remember: preparedness isn't a fetish for MREs, guns and freeze dried ice cream. It's a mindset that a few minutes of time and a few investments now can make your life much easier down the road.