|Barry with Jana and Sharon|
I remember that weekend well. We arrived with not much more than a suitcase, a vacuum cleaner, some cleaning supplies, and a couple of lawn chairs. My husband sanded down the worn hardwood floors and coated them with polyurethane by the time the moving truck arrived a few days later. Over the years we've toned down the flowered '70s wallpaper, replaced windows, remodeled the kitchen and bathroom, painted multiple times, and added a double garage and guest room. If our walls could talk, they would tell lots of stories . . . some humorous and some sad but mostly ordinary stories about an ordinary family, trying to hang on to the extraordinary grace of God as we went along.
Perhaps the reason my emotions got the best of me is because I realized those years made up the peak season of our lives . . . and suddenly, they're gone . . . like "a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).
|November 1, 1997: Jana, Sharon, Baby Elisabeth, "Mom"|
We never anticipated the many challenges that lay ahead either . . . a life-altering car crash resulting in lifelong limitations (told in Penned Without Ink), the death of three of our parents, job transitions, disappointment with life events--and even with ourselves . . .
Which brings us back to our series on how to prepare for a crisis of any kind. So far we've highlighted several strategies:
Strategy # 1: Examine your relationship with God.
Strategy # 2: Check your relationships with others.
Strategy # 3: Keep complete and accurate records in one place.
Strategy # 4: Have adequate insurance.
Strategy # 5: Be intentional about how you manage your finances.
Strategy # 6: Simplify.
Today we'll look at Strategy # 7: Update your legal documents.
Keep your HIPAA current. Your privacy is protected. In order for anyone besides you to access your medical information, you need to authorize them to do so in writing. It's just a one or two page document. Usually you would list your spouse, an adult child, or a close friend. On the back of your health insurance card is a 1-800 number you can call to make sure this in order.
Have a will in place. Having an up-to-date will lets you decide what happens to your assets at the time of your passing. It allows you to determine who will be the guardian of your minor children. And it allows you to choose the executor of your estate, a trustworthy person who carries out the terms of your will. Remember a document can always be changed or updated as needed.
Have a financial or durable power of attorney in place, who is the person named in a notarized document who will care for your finances should you become unable to do so. For example of you were in a coma, this person would manage your finances, pay your bills, etc.
Have a medical power of attorney in place, who is the person named in a notarized document who will care for your medical decisions should you become unable to do so.
I've collected more "Ready-for-Anything" articles and information on my Pinterest Page.
Whether you're still at the "moving in" stage of life or you're looking back on thirty years, wondering where the time went, there's value in doing all you can to be prepared, especially in light of life's re-definitions that seem to crop up unexpectedly. At the same time, let's not forget that we have a God who has proven His faithfulness over and over and is worthy of our trust for the past, present, and future . . . no matter what happens.