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Spouses, cross-train!

As farming and raising a family become more complex and
challenging, it’s not surprising that spouses divide and conquer the list of
chores that need to be done. What happens when your spouse unexpectedly is
sidelined by a serious injury or illness?

Creating a common file of information – including key
passwords, emergency contacts, business contacts, personal records, insurance
agents, and account numbers – can provide welcome peace of mind. After it’s
complete, don’t forget to update your file every few years.

Get started today to gather and share these vital facts of
life (and death).


Know the company name, phone numbers, maintenance records,
and passwords for the following.

  • Utilities and bills: This includes gas, water, electric,
    telephone, and cable TV.
  • Contractors and service workers: List repair persons for
    plumbing, air conditioning, heating, auto, and other chores.
  • Professionals: Include physicians, attorneys, financial
    advisers, and insurance reps.


  • Caregivers: Compile names and phone numbers of people who
    are responsible for your children, elderly parents, and pets. You’ll need
    physicians and hospital of choice in case of an emergency.
  • Medications: Maintain a list of medications and dosages
    for children, parents, and pets.
  • School: Include names of teachers, the schools’ main phone
    numbers, email addresses, and the names of principals.
  • Relatives and friends: In case of an emergency, list names
    of relatives and friends who should be notified.


  • Taxes: Gather contact information for your accountant or
    tax preparer. Note the location where back taxes and current tax documents are
  • Loans: Include names of lenders, amounts owed, account
    numbers, passwords, and phone numbers.
  • Retirement plans: List your retirement account, latest
    Social Security benefit statement, 401(k), IRA plan, and so on.
  • Credit cards: Record all account numbers and outstanding
    debts, along with phone numbers in case accounts need to be cancelled.
  • Power of attorney: If assets aren’t owned jointly, spouses
    should have power of attorney for each other. Store this information.
  • Checking and savings accounts and ATM information: Record
    passwords and PIN codes. Share any online passwords and note the place where
    the checkbooks are kept.  

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