How to Get Your Affairs in Order


Our staff at Krause Funeral Home meets with Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Brookfield families every day who have stories like these:

Jean’s Story

Jean and her husband, Jerry, recently celebrated 60 years of marriage. Jerry has always managed their money, but Jean is concerned he is showing signs of dementia. There have been a few errors with their bills, and there may be more mistakes the couple is not aware of. Jean is worried she’ll have to take over their finances – and she has no idea where to begin.

Bob’s Story

Bob is an 82-year-old widower who continues to live independently in the home he’s been in for the last 50 years. When his wife died five years ago, Bob and his three children sat down to make a plan about his bills, insurance, and what to do in the case of emergency. Regardless of what happens down the road, Bob and his family are confident that important documents are in order – and they know exactly where to find them.

The biggest difference between these two stories comes down to one thing: planning. Sitting down to put your papers in order makes a complicated job a lot easier when the time comes. Imagine the peace of mind Jean could have knowing the details and whereabouts of their finances and personal information.

On the other hand, imagine the headache if Jerry kept their social security cards in a lockbox in the garage and the life insurance policy tucked away in a box in the basement – and he’s the only one who knows where to find them. Not to mention tracking down property deeds, veteran’s discharge papers, and much more.

This scenario happens more often than you might think. That’s why we’ve come up with a starting point for preparing and organizing documents for the future. As you begin to gather paperwork, you might also consider the benefits of putting your own funeral arrangements in writing with our Krause staff.

Many Milwaukeeans are caught off guard by just how many decisions are involved when planning a funeral for their loved one. When you preplan – and you can do so with using our online form, over the phone or video chat, or in person at any of our four locations – you can express your preferences while preventing your family from having to deal with stress of dozens of details during an emotional time.

Our preplanning checklist makes the process easier, as it lays out exactly what you’ll need to proceed.

As you think about the future and the important documents you’ll need to have in order, here is a good place to start:

Personal Information

  • Date and place of birth, citizenship
  • Education and military records
  • Employer and dates of employment
  • Contact information for relatives, clergy, doctor, lawyers, and financial advisors
  • Medications taken regularly
  • Affiliations and special recognition
  • Car title and registration
  • Deeds to properties
  • Location of birth certificates, marriage license, and veterans’ discharge papers
  • Location of living will, advance directives, and healthcare power of attorney documents

Financial Information

  • Social security and Medicare/Medicaid information
  • Insurance policies and agents’ contact information
  • Bank/credit card accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • List of recurring bills and account information for each

You might be surprised how empowered you feel by getting these details together – and your family will thank you for planning ahead. For more information on putting your funeral plans in writing, check out our website or give us a call. Our team of experts knows exactly what to do to make sure your wishes will be honored when the time comes. We always say that helping Milwaukee families isn’t a job to us – it is our calling. This is the truth! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime.

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