Thursday, June 7, 2007

What do I do next?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the question "what do I do next?". It seems that even though most people are out of it when a death occurs they seem to get lots of advice from well meaning friends and family. Usually by the time I meet them they have already spoken to many people and gotten so much information that their minds are overloaded. They know they have to come and see me but haven't a clue which of the many things they've heard needs to be done next.

I used to respond to that question with something like "give it time", "you'll know what to do when the time comes", "let's just get through this now and we can go over more later". I was always under the impression that they didn't have to be worried about trivial matters during this time. Yeah, right. What was trivial to me wasn't necessarily trivial to other people. I wasn't the one laying at home, alone for the first time in say 50 years, trying to sort through this newfound responsibility of being on my own. You know, I do this every day, I know what has to be done but the average person doesn't. Fortunately, they don't have to do this every day so they do need guidance.

Since I can't become a full time personal aide to everyone I deal with, I decided to put together a booklet which actually gives people step by step procedures of what they need to do next. Of course everybody doesn't need to follow the steps in the order that I put them down but they can pick and choose which items pertain to them. I've supplied contacts, telephone numbers and email addresses. Some of the information is about the Social Security Administration , Veteran's Administration , Probate Court, Life Insurance, Health and Dental Insurance Companies, Homeowners Insurance Companies, Personal Insurance Needs, Credit Card Companies, Notification of Banks and Financial Institutions, Other Assets, Retirement Funds, IRA's, Utility Companies, possible need for an Attorney, Death Certificates and more. Hopefully it will light the fire that has already been sparked. Right now it's state specific to the state I'm in and has lots of tips on what needs to be done when.

I know I'm not the best at what I do and I have to keep trying to better myself. But really, who am I doing it for? Yes, I take continuing education to keep my license. And yes, I want to keep my license so that I can work and earn a living, but...I do it for my families. They are the ones who entrust me with the care of their loved ones, they look to me; they deserve my best.

1 comment:

MedStudentWife said...

You do what you do to your uttmost (sp)because you care for people and that is something most people dont have in their hearts or ability to understand. It is "service" to others and I haven't been able to figure out why some of us are programmed that way.

I can so totally relate to what you said in the last two paragraphs in this blog