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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


Organizing your personal and financial life, your medical life and your work life is well worth the effort. It will likely save you time and money – and reduce unnecessary stress levels.

You don’t have to do everything at once. The key is to start, and to keep what you’ve organized up-to-date. You can add more as time goes on.

To simplify the discussion, we have divided this content into the following areas:


  • The content in this document refers to keeping track by filing paperwork appropriately, if you are computer savvy, you can scan documents and receipts into your computer instead. Of course, be sure you back up the computer every day or every few days "just in case" - and that the back up is either in the cloud (online) or that it is removed from the premises at least once a week..
  • For tips about how to save time and money, click here.

Organizing Your Personal and Financial Life

  • Set up a simple filing system if you do not have one already. For information about setting up a simple filing system, click here.
  • Create a  List of Instructions which combines in one place all the information needed to keep your financial, medical and personal worlds functioning smoothly.
    • List of Instructions will help you keep organized, save you time, and assure important steps do not fall through the cracks. Equally as important, a List of Instructions will provide guidance if anyone needs to take over for you temporarily. We all face the possibility of being unable or unavailable to manage our financial and personal business - whether due to depression, extended travel or incapacity.
    • It is advisable to start your List as soon as you can. Much of the information is probably already in your address book. If it is more work than you want to undertake at this point, start the list and add to it as information comes across your desk. Within twelve months it will be complete.
    • We provide a list to help act as a guide for yours. Feel free to use it however it works best for you:
      • Complete your list online and store it on our secure site. You can then print copies for whoever needs them or give access to the list via your password.
      • Print the List and fill in the blanks.
      • Use the List as a model to create a list of your own for your personal use.
    • To make day-to-day matters as simple as possible (for you and those who might help you), also review Document Inventory, Household Inventory and Set-Up A Filing System.
  • Consider making a document inventory. You can save your time and memory banks, and help other people find your documents, if you keep a document inventory. A document inventory lists where each of your important documents are stored. Survivorship A to Z provides an easy to use "Document Inventory." 
  • Consider creating a household inventory. Creating a household inventory sounds like it can be a lot of work, but it can come in handy. (And a little spring cleaning never hurt - no matter what time of year.) For a form to use, click here. While it is advisable to do an entire inventory, do what you can now. As items are purchased or given to you as a gift, add them to the list immediately.
  • Store important papers appropriately. For instance, keep your deed in a Safe Deposit Box or in a Safe. To learn where important papers should be stored, clickhere. For information about purchasing a home safe, click here.
  • Create a List of Instructions - and keep it up to date. Include everything needed to keep your home and personal life in order. For instance, dates premiums and rent/mortgage payments are due. Dates for maintenance of items that keep you life going such as a furnace - as well as who to call. For a form, click here.
  • If you have a complicated financial life or don't want to deal with finances: Consider hiring a Daily Money Manager.

Organizing Your Health/Medical Care

  • Your health. TThe odds are you see more than one health professional, in more than one health setting. In order to coordinate your care to maximize use of your professionals, treatments and medications, it is advisable to create and keep-up-to-date a:
    • List of Medications that you can show doctors who want to change your meds, new doctors, and pharmacists. It will also be handy in case of emergency. For a form you can use, click here.
    • Symptoms diary -- to help you keep track and to maximize your time at short doctor appointments. Our chart even provides a graph to provide an instant overview for whatever time period you specify.
    • Be sure that your doctors are up to date. Unless all your doctors are connected on the same system, it is becomes your task to keep each your doctors up-to-date about changes in your symptoms and what happens at each doctor's appointment.  It's easy to do once you organize it. For our idea about how to keep doctors to date, click here.

Organizing Your Work Life Related To Your Health

  • While at work: 
    • Keep your employee handbooks handy. If you don't have a copy, get one. (You do not have to explain the reason for the request other than you cannot find your copy.)
    • In case you are discriminated against at work because of your health condition, it is extremely helpful to have what the law refers to as a "contemporaneous" diary - a diary of events as they occur. We call it a "Work Journal." To see a simple journal, click here.
    • If you take time off, it can become difficult to keep track whether it is part of allowed personal days, vacation time, sick leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act or another employer program. It's easy to keep track if you chart the time off. For a sample chart, click here.
  • If you return to work: