I feel like this kind of post needs to come with a disclaimer; it isn’t going to be the most upbeat thing that you have ever read. But it is a must read for any parent out there. Talking about making plans for your children in the case of a tragedy isn’t always easy. But at the end of the day, it is a reality of life. And in order to make the whole thing smoother and easier for our children, then we need to have plans in place.
As a parent and a spouse, we have certain responsibilities whether we are dead or alive. We have the care and responsibility to make sure that our other half is taken care of, and that they will have enough money going forward to clear any debt, to keep paying for the normal things that we need each month. We also have the responsibility to provide for our children and to make sure that they aren’t going to suffer monetarily if anything did happen, especially when they are young. The same goes for deciding who would have the children in the rare case of something happening to both parents. There is the possibility that if you don’t decide beforehand and something did happen, your children may get taken into care and a court would decide who would be the legal guardian for them.
So if that is not reason enough to get this kind of life admin in order, then I don’t know what is!
So with all of this in mind, here are some steps that we can take now, to make sure that our family are looked after in a stress-free way as possible, should tragedy strike.
Get Life Insurance
Being a parent means being responsible for our children in all circumstances. One of those ways we can do that is by getting life insurance; it can be one of the most important things that you do for your family. Because the theory behind that is that there will be a payout of money to your spouse or children if you were to pass on earlier than expected. Getting some cash up front like that can help them to clear any debt that you might have or to clear the mortgage. Then they can live a life that is less financially burdened.
Having life insurance can also be a good way to cover the costs of things later on in life too. If you want to make sure that they have money for University or weddings, for instance, then make sure that you have enough life insurance to cover the costs of those kinds of things.
Create a Will
Another thing that is going to be so important, especially as a parent, is getting a will. Without a will, it will be up to someone else to decide who gets everything of yours. A will would decide who gets your money and assets, as well as who would take care of raising your children. So it seems like a no-brainer to get a will if you have children. Otherwise, your other half and your children will get caught up in a long court process, which is going to make everything more stressful at a time when you won’t want it to be stressful for them.
If you choose to get a will, then you can decide on everything. You can decide quite specifically who gets what, and even things about how your children should be raised. So do take your time to set it all out. To make it legal, then you’ll need a solicitor like Bannister Preston to be present when you sign it all. Then you know that it will all be sorted should anything happen. You can adjust your will accordingly, but get something together sooner rather than later.
Check How Up To Date Beneficiaries Are
If you haven’t updated the details on things like your loans or bank accounts since your first opened them, then you should check up on those as soon as you can. I once read about a situation where a wife, who had two children with her husband, but he passed away. The husband had life insurance and plenty of money saved up in his retirement account. But the beneficiary of all of this was the husband’s mother, not his wife. He had never updated anything. So all of it went to his mother. You’d like to think that the mother gave it to the daughter-in-law anyway, but you never know! So get your beneficiaries up to date, especially if you have been previously divorced and might have an ex-partner on there.
It might sound a bit morbid, but think if anything was to happen to you tomorrow, would your other half, or your children, know where to look for everything of yours? Would they know all of the bank accounts that you have and where to find them all? If the answer is no, then getting things together, so it is all in one place is a really good idea. So list together all the accounts, account numbers, passwords if needed, as well as the numbers of important people (like an accountant or solicitor, for example). Put all of it in a safe place for your spouse. It will make life for them much less stressful when it comes to sorting things out in an emergency situation. It also makes things much easier to talk about, if you know of one another’s bank accounts and don’t get any surprises along the way.
These kinds of topics are never comfortable to talk about, but I hope it has given you some food for thought. These four steps will make sure that your family is taken care of, so start implementing them today, if you haven’t already. They will thank you for it, as well as giving you peace of mind.