Death of The Young Parent, Are You Prepared For The Unexpected?
The diaper pail sits in the corner all shiny and new, the ‘Thank you’ notes have been sent, your feet are swollen to the size of pumpkins, and everything is ready for little juniors arrival. Yet, have you prepared for the unexpected?
It’s Not Always Because Of Death – Create “Living Documents”
What happens if you’re in a coma, does everyone know your wishes? Are you prepared for the unexpected? What if they all disagree on those wishes, where your kids live, go to school, where the money goes? There are times when we can’t make decisions due to mental or physical health, and someone has to know or guess what your intent and wants are while putting them into action.
‘The Children, What On Earth Will Happen To The Children?’
Setting up a Guardian & Trustee
If you are absent, deceased or otherwise incapable, someone will have to care for your children, either the state or a person you have designated for that role. Deciding on a guardian as soon as you can, eliminates the courts having to decide your children’s fate for you. The trustee is the person who holds the purse strings. Maybe your sister Kate would make a great mom, but financially, she isn’t so stellar at financial planning. Setting up a trustee, either with someone else, or a legal representative such as a trust fund. Would ensure your children will be cared for as you wished.
‘It was the butler in the living room, with the candlestick!’
Establishing Post-Mortem Documents
What if the unimaginable happened, you die while your child is still very young? If you do not have a will, your possessions will be split between your immediate family, and I don’t know about you – but me trying to access join bank accounts with my husband is a pain sometimes. I can’t even imagine if I had to do it with my three-year-old! They’re just getting the hang of wiping their own bum, never mind knowing what city their parents were married in, and the other security questions they’d need to know. Yet, there is something else that gets overlooked, minors cannot own property. So, another decision would be, when they can access those accounts.
Are You Financially Prepared, Is Your Spouse?
People die, it really, really sucks. Yet, the electric company, the school fees and everything else keeps coming through the door. Reviewing your life insurance policy, or getting a life insurance policy, should be your top priority. Especially if you are a one-income household, and the financial earner is the person who has an accident or passes away. Be prepared for the unexpected.
Figuring out how much life insurance to purchase is not an easy calculation, so focus on two factors:
- How much do you think your family will need? Consider this “needs-based” question instead of how much you think you would otherwise earn during your lifetime (“income replacement”).
- How long do you think you will have the need? The answer to this question will help you decide on whether to buy term insurance, which covers a finite period of time, vs. permanent insurance, which is a lifelong policy.
Lastly, Where Is Everything?
Keeping all the documents, passwords, lawyers names and so forth under a lock and key, or behind a password email that no one has access to is as pointless as not doing it. If someone doesn’t know about certain insurances, they can never apply for them, or get a copy of your living will in time to carry out your plans. Keep multiple copies, with your legal team and in your home. Just in case something does happen to you or your spouse, everyone is covered.
Are you prepared for the unexpected?
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