Mother’s Day appreciation

Farm Forum

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11. Are you wondering what you can do to show your mom appreciation? Many people try to shop for that appropriate gift. Have you thought about spending time with her and helping sort through her financial, legal and medical papers? Is everything organized and in order?

Your mom may truly appreciate the help and the value of getting records in order for organizational purposes and if a need would arise.

Gather important documents. Some of the important things that should be together are:

• Medical, homeowner/renter, auto, life, disability and long term care insurance policies.

• Will, or trust with explanations on what to do upon their death. Make sure she has her beneficiaries up to date on these and also on her retirement and life insurance policies.

• Living will, and durable power of attorney. Know who she wants to handle this and how if the case arises.

• Birth certificate, marriage license, social security card, funeral plans, and safe deposit box information.

• Contact information for professional service providers such as doctors, pharmacy, lawyer, banks, insurance, credit card companies, etc.

Know her outstanding debts. Gather monthly statements and outstanding balances owed for major expenses such as home mortgage, property loans, credit cards, car loan, or medical bills.

Organize her retirement income sources. Gather these so that your mom will have a better idea how much income she will have available throughout retirement.

While flowers and candy offer immediate gratification, the time spent with her and organizing these records will be appreciated with long term values.

If you need more help deciding what to organize, what to keep, and for how long, go to the eXtension website at

Reach Karen Slunecka at 605-626-2870 or