Monday, March 31, 2008

Be Prepared

As horrible as it may sound, please take a moment and think about your own situation and how your family is setup to go on without you or your spouse.

1. Do you have a will? Is it up-to-date? If you have a spouse, of course everything will go to him/her be default. But what if both of you should die? Who will raise your kids? Who will handle your estate? (Those should be two different people, by the way.)

2. Term Life Insurance. I hate to break it to you, but you will die. And if you happen to be the first to go, you will leave people behind who will have bills that need to be paid. Your term life insurance policy should be 8-10 times your annual salary. Having you to deal with the grief will be difficult enough on your family - don't add a financial burden on top of it.

3. Paperwork. Your survivors need to know where everything is and how to access it. Last summer I documented all of our information and put it into a special planning book. Pool Boy knows where this book is. I think I also told someone else, and hopefully they'll remember if the need arises. This book has all bank accounts listed, all investments, all necessary websites, all debts (except we've paid most of them off by now), health insurance policies, life insurance policies, and any logins and passwords that would be needed. If something should happen to one of us, all we have to do it pick up this book and we'll know exactly where everything is.

I've heard many people say, "I don't want to talk about those things. It's too morbid." That's pure selfishness - don't do that to your family. It can happen to any of you at any time.