NEW: Organizing Your Information – for others – Harris N. (Hershey) Rosen

by Harris N. (Hershey) Rosen, contributing writer & Nancy Thomas publisher

One of the biggest problems people face when a family member passes – or there is a family crisis – is finding and acting on critical information such as final wishes and arrangements – or finding financial records, house maintenance documents, or other personal information well known to the loved one – but in many cases unknown to those struggling to move forward at a critical time.

While these pandemic times have given us so many sadness, they have also given us so many challenges. To realize that you could be alive and well one day, and within a day or so, very sick, hospitalized, on a ventilator, or heaven forbid, even worse, prompts one to take stock.

How is our life going? We’ve all just been through one year to take stock. Stock of our relationships, our parenting, our marriages, our careers and jobs, how we spend our time, and what is truly important in life. Many of us have spent time cleaning our homes, organizing our environments to work from home, and realizing how easy it is for us to find records we need – or not. We felt a sense of accomplishment in figuring out our computers – without the benefit of an IT department a phone call away. Business owners have had to find documents to apply for PPP loans or small business loans. Owners began doing work others used to do for us. It’s been a year like no other, ever, in the world we live in. We can be crushed by it. On a personal basis we’ve had to calculate our income, our mortgages, or if we’ve become unemployed, we really need to know where every penny is being spent, and where the pennies are that are left over. Our big rainy day has come to stay – for awhile. But we can rise to the occasion to make our lives better going forward.

For me, action is a peace-maker. I feel a sense of satisfaction ‘taking care of business’ – and particularly in taking care of personal business. I find peace in knowing that others will be able to move forward without skipping a beat if I get incapacitated or die. If I go away on an extended vacation, I’ve left a trail and directions, if you will, for others to find their way to emergency information while I’m gone. All that gives me peace.

I took this topic to heart long ago – I wrote a book about creating a Family Record Guide – and I updated it with two new books – the latest is “WHY? Because I Love You” – having originally been called My Family Record Book, really gives it the personal feeling that I had experienced both before doing these things, while writing it, and now, as I feel a sense of peace in having done it, knowing it is always a work in progress, updating continuously with new information.

I hope you might read the book one day and get some guidance on how to organize and make your information accessible to your loved ones, be they close family who live with you, those who might be far away, your caretakers, your business associates, and counselors such as CPAs, investment people and attorneys.

In this column I’ll talk about how we can organize and document the important information in our lives – I’ll share some tips I’ve learned along the way – I encourage you to write to me here at RINewsToday if you have a particular question or need you’d like me to write about. You can leave a comment at the end of the article.

For now – let me ask you to think about these things – and we’ll dig in next Saturday with our first column:

  • Who carries health insurance for the family – where are the cards – what are the policy numbers – who do you contact if there is a problem?
  • What ongoing service contracts for the house are there – where are they – (think HVAC systems, roof, garage door opener, legal contracts, sprinkler system, security system, lawn services, etc?)
  • Where are all – all – the unpaid bills – and paid bills – what is due, and when?
  • Can the main people in the household transfer cash into each other’s accounts? What are all those passwords and how can others access them? Would your significant other know how to access even the 3 most basics of critical information – your cell phone, your computer, your email(s)?

That’s enough for now – until next week!

Oh! Not sure we’ll stick with the title to this column – do you have a suggestion? Let us know! Write: [email protected]


Harris N. “Hershey” Rosen is the author of WHY? Because I Love You, a book that says it like it is – “What you need to know when I die”. His book details methods to organize your important personal and family information for those who are left behind.

A graduate of Harvard, Hershey Rosen has focused on controlling chaos since 1954. He was a Financial Control Officer in the U.S. Army, where he received a Letter of Commendation for improvement to its worldwide accounting system. Next, on to satisfying everyone’s sweet tooth, he ran a candy company for 40 years, developing a system for locating ANY item housed in five factories, covering 600,000 square feet.

Following “retirement,” Hershey went on to become a mediator and settled over 200 disputes for the state of Rhode Island and The Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island. He was also asked to team-teach management courses at the University of Rhode Island, where he enthusiastically challenged the text book with real-life experiences, to the delight and edification of the students.

Always passionate about assisting others, Hershey has been a director or trustee of numerous boards and organizations. He has written Creating A Guide So Your Loved Ones Can Go On Living! to help others protect their spouses (and families) from the intense stress that will occur if one does not share financial information and knowledge critical to a functioning home. He then wrote My Family Record Book, expanding on the information in his first book, and finally, in 2020, WHY? Because I Love You was published.

Hershey, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, can now relax (ha!) with his beloved wife, Myrna, and enjoy visits with their combined five children and ten grandchildren.

“WHY? Because I Love You” – available here: