For the last two years, I’ve spoken with people about the importance of planning ahead for a personal emergency. The conversations range from “I have all my affairs in order” to “If I’m dead, what do I care?” The majority of people say “Yeah, I need to do that…it’s on my to do list.”  Sound familiar?

Most agree that having their affairs in order will free their mind of nagging worries, but they procrastinate about get started. There are so many things that are more exciting or more urgent, but there are very few that are more important.

This compelling personal story by Michelle Singletary, a well-known personal finance columnist for the Washington Post, is a must read for anyone who has been putting off getting their affairs in order. In the article “Put it on paper before it’s too late” Michelle shares how her mother is fighting for her life after being caught in a tragic house fire and her family is struggling with roadblocks making a stressful time even more stressful.

Michelle begs her readers to “please put in place the paperwork and gather the personal and financial information that a designated family member, friend or professional will need to take care of your affairs should anything happen to you.” She offers excellent advice on the bare minimum items you need.

She says to “prepare what’s called a “letter of instruction.” Think of it like CliffsNotes for your personal and financial information.”  This is exactly what helps you create, simple yet vital instructions about who to call, where to look and what to do in an emergency. Even if you don’t have all the other documents she recommends, these instructions will help tremendously.

I urge you to read the full article here and do something TODAY…your future self (and loved ones) will thank you.


“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” via @GustoNYC

— The Torch (@TheTorchApp) March 7, 2014


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