Creating a Personal Record Book

Submitted by Kathy Green, A Little Help

Consider this:  you are in a serious car accident.  You end up in the hospital hooked up to all sorts of tubes and learn that your rehabilitation cannot be done at home.  In a flash, your life is turned upside down and you are unexpectedly away from home for several weeks.

How about this:  you have been caring for your aging parents.  Your mother becomes dizzy one day and falls.  Your father, in struggling to get your mother up off the floor, collapses from a stroke.  Several hours later you stop in to see that everything is o.k.  Obviously, their lives and yours have been changed in an instant.

Or your father passed away several years ago and ever since you have been helping your mother pay the bills, balance her checkbook, and try to keep her paperwork in order.   Your mother would just as soon keep her personal affairs her business and you don’t want to pry so you don’t ask too many questions.

In each one of these scenarios, everyone involved must take the time to create a personal information guide.  Your personal information guide (PIG) contains accurate, current details about you personally, financially and medically.

Completing a personal information guide – and keeping the information updated — means that anyone stepping in to help during a time of illness or disability will not have to spend hours sorting through papers trying to unearth the information needed to help keep your life on track.  Names and phone numbers of family members will be instantly accessible.  Names, addresses and phone numbers of your professional advisors (insurance agent, financial advisor, attorney) will be at your fingertips.

In the event of death, whoever is called in to handle the estate affairs will only have to consult the PIG to learn information about you.  Having that information source to refer to is much less time consuming than having to dig through piles of papers to try to establish personal and financial information.

Getting a PIG completed does require access to the most current and accurate information possible.  The more organized your paperwork is on the front end, the easier this job will be.  However, by the time you have completed your PIG, your papers will be organized and can then be filed away.

Any member of MESA will be happy to provide you with a Personal Information Guide.  It’s up to you to see that it is filled in and maintained.  If you would like help getting your papers in order and keeping them that way, or in completing a PIG, call Kathy Green at A Little Help, Inc., 952-887-5043