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Storing Important Documents

Posted 4/28/2014

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  This is really important. Please bear with me and read today's entry. It is important that you have completed appropriate legal documents (advance directives, power of attorney, a will, etc.), and it is equally important that they are readily at hand for your family. For years, I have had a boldly titled folder at the very front of the first file drawer in my home office. My daughters, as adults, have told me how weird they thought it was that I insisted, when they were 15 or so, that they knew where it was and what it contained. As adults, they are grateful.

  This is a short article from The New York Times about the importance of where these docments are stored and that your family knows the spot. There is now a free app from the American Bar Association that will do this for you. If you, like most people, never get around to telling your family where to look for things, it is likely they will be looking at your smart phone.

 The link is:

  Even though you now have the bottom line (or the bottom link), it is still worth reading this article. Here is the start and then a link:

The Documents You Need, When You Need Them




Few things drive an emergency room staff quite as nuts as a patient who has, yes, carefully considered her
preferences, designated a health care decision-maker should she become incapacitated, and documented all that
information in an advance directive — which is sitting in a locked safe deposit box or stashed in an bureau drawer at
But as we’ve discussed before, that’s hardly an uncommon scenario. In fact, the president of the American Bar
Association, Jim Silkenat, told me that until recently, his own advance directive wasn’t easily accessible.
“It was in a file here in my office” in Midtown Manhattan, he said. “My kids knew about it, but they had no idea
where it was. Nobody had really focused on it.” Fortunately, since his children live in Scotland and Arizona, Mr.
Silkenat hadn’t encountered an emergency requiring them to show up at a hospital with the document.
But enough people do find themselves in that quandary that the association’s Commission on Law and Aging has
developed a smartphone app, My Health Care Wishes, that allows you to store your own advance directive or family
members’ on your iPhone or Android phone. When you need them, the app lets you present such documents — and
other health information and contacts — via email or Bluetooth.


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