Information You Need Before Your Parent Dies

 “Pookie” is Not Your Mama’s Password

Your Mom has been independent and handling all her own affairs. Then, she is in a car accident which incapacitates her for six months.  How will you access digital information without passwords?  Are you knowledgeable about the location of medical and personal records?  How do bills get paid? Having this information readily available will avoid putting you in a panic when you least need added pressure. We’d like to share this list of five areas of information that you should secure from your parents or your spouse. Use this as a starting checklist and add to it.


A general list of user names, passwords and security question answers. The list should include:

  • Online Banking
  • Computer login
  • Debit card
  • Email
  • Home phone
  • Ipad login
  • Home phone voicemail
  • Kindle
  • Cell phone lock screen
  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram …)
  • Cell phone voicemail
  • Shopping sites (Amazon, eBay, HSN …)
  • Home security system
  • Garage code



The best protection is to have your own copy of their medical insurance card and a current list of prescriptions. Being able to produce these items quickly speeds up the hospital’s ability to provide treatment.

• Get the names and numbers of doctors, and where prescriptions filled are filled.

• Also check to see if the medications are automatically filled.

Find out where they keep the following:

  • life insurance policy
  • disability policy
  • long term care insurance
  • homeowners and auto insurance

Safe Deposit Box: Is there a safety deposit box or an in-home safe?  Where is it?  Where are the keys? Is this where personal records such as birth and marriage certificates, car and house titles, and maybe social security cards are stored?


Find out who is to make medical decisions in an emergency. Make sure that person has a copy of the Healthcare Directive. Who will handle financial decisions (paying bills, etc.)? Make sure that person has a copy of the Financial Directive. It is wise to appoint a second person on these documents in case the first choice becomes incapacitated or dies during the time assistance is needed.

  •  Is there a will?
  • Who is the Executor?
  • Is there a Do Not Resuscitate form posted in the home for emergencies and does the
  • person in charge of healthcare have a copy?



What are the sources for income? What is direct deposited and when?

  • Pension
  • Social Security
  • Retirement accounts

Make a list of bills paid regularly and whether they are paid via mail or online. Include phone numbers on the list in case you need to discontinue services or cancel credit cards. Normal bills include:

  • Credit cards including retail cards
  • Garbage
  • Water and Sewer
  • Yard Service
  • Electric and Gas
  • Home Security
  • Telephone
  • Homeowner/condo fees
  • Cable or satellite
  • Home security system
  • Cell phone



• Are photos stored on the computer only? Under a local photo folder or online storage?

• How are taxes filed? Is there an accountant for taxes? Name and #. Where are past

printed records stored?

• Enrolled in royalty programs—airlines, credit card points, etc.

• Are there accounts on Amazon or eBay, Paypal or iTunes?

• Any important flash drives, CD’s or camera disks?


An easy way to track this information is to copy a social security card, the back and front of all

credit cards, and the medical insurance card. This is information you would need immediately.


**Go over the list of questions at least every six months to make sure there have been no they

haven’t added or changed things.





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