Plan Now for Unexpected Time Away from Home

Winter’s icy sidewalks and flu season are approaching.  No one wants to think about it, but it happens to Surrey members every year.  You have an accident or get sick and end up in the hospital, followed by a stay in rehab.  Now a month has gone by and you return home to deal with everything that you missed.  There are some simple ways to make things easier with some advance contingency planning.

Mail

The letter carrier may have the reputation of delivering mail through rain, sleet, and snow, but they can’t leave it if the mailbox is full!  Talk to a family member or friend and ask if they could get your mail from the box if you should be away unexpectedly.  They may also be willing to bring it over to you at the hospital or rehab.  The postmaster is not always cooperative with having someone outside the household pick up mail at the post office, so it is best to have it intercepted at home.  This tends to vary by town.

Bills

Think about how your bills would get paid if you were not able to pay them yourself.  You may want to designate a close relative as a signer on your checking account by completing a Power of Attorney at the bank.  The designation is different from having a joint account, since the designated person would be able to write and sign checks, but would not be an account owner.  It’s important to have a discussion with your bank branch representative before you make any changes, as rules may differ between banks.  Most importantly, be sure to choose someone that you completely trust.

Insurance

It’s important to have a designee to receive notices should your premiums for health, life, home, auto or long term care insurance lapse and face cancellation. This creates a safety net should a premium be missed.  The insurance company will send a notice to the person you designate so that they can make sure that the policy does not get cancelled.  This is especially key for life and long term care policies that may not be replaceable.

Pets

Make sure you have someone to take care of your pets in the case of an emergency.  Retirement communities require residents to make arrangements for pets, but everyone should.  The person that is chosen should be aware of and comfortable with the responsibility.

Utilities

Save some money while you are away and have a family member or friend turn down the heat.  Maybe they can turn it back up before you return.  Just don’t turn it back too far if you still have a pet in the house.

If you do end up coming home to a stack of mail and unpaid bills, Surrey’s Daily Money Management can help.  Call Jacky at 610-647-9840.

If you are in the hospital or in a rehab facility, please let us know.  We would love to visit with you and we can act as an advocate with the medical staff if you would like.