This post has nothing to do with my Social Security Disability cases that I handle, but I’m sure the family of some of my clients have had to deal with these same issues. This past Friday a friend of a friend died suddenly. He was the father of a minor child. No other family here in the states. No one knows if he had a will. Some insurance policies were found. Nothing known or found about who he wished to raise his child. I was given the task of tracking down his family in England without any contact information. This became much more difficult because of the coming weekend. I was also given the task of determining what the next step was regarding his child. I was eventually able to get a message to his remaining family and found out and passed along the information about the next step to be taken regarding his child. It was all emotionally draining and made me want to share these thoughts: Please tell someone whether or not you have a will. If you do, where is it? Do you have life insurance? If so, where are the policies? If you have a minor child, who do you want to raise your child? Is there any money to help with this? How do we contact your family? A tragedy is hard enough to deal with without having to immediately shuffle through lots of documents to try and answer these questions. Make a list of all the important information and leave it with two or three people. Don’t just put it in a safe deposit box which someone may or may not be able to get into. Make sure a few trusted people know what you have and where it is. Make it easier on the family and friends you leave behind.