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Your Family Record Book

Harris Rosen Wants You to Write a Book



Harris "Hershey" Rosen of Providence wrote a book. Now he wants you to write one of your own.

No, it's not one of those "publish your own novel" schemes. Rosen's My Family Record Book is billed as "The Easy Way to Organize Personal Information, Financial Plans and Final Wishes for Seniors, Caregivers, Estate Executors, etc."

In short, it's a Book of Life to leave behind for relatives and others who may be charged with putting your life in order after your life has ended.

"Don't wait until someone dies to plan," writes George deLodzia, Professor Emeritus at URI's College of Business Administration in the book's forward. "Then it's too  late."  Rosen and deLodzia co-taught a URI management course before Rosen became a consultant to the program's dean.

What makes Rosen's book unique, deLodzia says, is that "it prompts record-keepers to state information in their own words so loved ones can continue living productive lives, and that provides an executor with unambiguous instructions."

According to Rosen, a retired New England candy manufacturing executive who graduated the Moses Brown School and Harvard University, the book is intended to ensure that an estate attorney fewer billable hours searching through a house, basement or attic for records, contracts, warranties and bills. It also holds up as a "Bible" for your final wishes.


Perhaps most important," Rosen writes, "your survivor will know that you, the record-keeper, is still there, "trying to provide protection, still trying to make life easier -- at least as easy as it can be as they deal with the sorrowful task of living without you."

He adds that one of the reasons survivors struggle is that -- in longer marriages -- household roles and tasks are divided. What happens when half the team is suddenly gone? And, especially, how do you go on if a lot of information was carried in someone else's head? When you think about, you can't help wanting to getting it all down somewhere.

Harris Rosen

Rosen and his wife Myrna each have written a book and they review each other's entries annually. And they share their books with their rabbi, executrix, accountant and estate attorney. Sound in any way morbid? Rosen adds some relief with cartoon illustrations from  The New Yorker and other sources. Another aspect of the book is way that it prompts its user to gather and preserve critical information that may not come immediately to mind.

My Family Record Book is recommended as a tool for family members and others who want to help someone capture this vital information.

Here's a summary from

Much more than a check list of information, this guide helps you convey how and why decisions were made so others can make informed choices about such items as:

• How to keep the household running smoothly 
• Where to get cash and how to access financial accounts
• How to get into your computer and access passwords
• How and when to downsize
• Which ongoing services to stop and which to keep going

Whether you are planning for retirement, have aging parents, or are a caregiver or estate executor, this book will help you organize important information so everyone will feel in control and know what to do during a stressful time. 


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