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Preparing for the Unexpected

Even though my husband and I are both fairly young and in great health, we've decided to get on the ball and get our wills done. Like many people, we've been putting this task off, but now it's time to site down and spend some time planning. After all, unexpected things happen.

I've been gathering information over the last couple months, but hadn't really sat down and done anything. This week, I decided to go ahead and figure out what we need to get done. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed at first.

What I discovered is that we need to do a lot more than just create a will. Here's a peek at our to-do list:

  • Will
  • Revocable living trust
  • Executor
  • Beneficiaries

My husband and I need to sit down and really talk about this. For example, we have to decide if our assets will be split between our siblings and parents, or if we should just include our siblings.

Other considerations: life insurance

My husband and I got term life insurance policies to cover expenses if one of us dies in the coming years. Deciding on how much life insurance you should have for the well-being of your family involves a lot of thought. That being said, there are some general rules of thumbs that you may want to consider.

  • What is the life insurance for? Do you intend on supporting your family off the proceeds? Do you want them to pay off the mortgage? What about leaving behind a cushion of some sort?
  • Do you have a life insurance plan with your employer? Some jobs offer a small life insurance policy at no cost to employees. Check with your Human Resources department to see if you already have at least a bit of coverage.
  • What's your annual income? Insurance companies often give ranges of 8-12x your annual income. If you know your family's needs, simply choose a multiple that makes sense for you.

One final thing... Make sure you keep the documents in a safe location. Be sure that your executor and spouse know where they are so they can easily find them if something bad happens.

Thoughts on preparing for the worst

Preparing for your demise takes time, but doing so will ease the pain and stress for your loved ones as they go through a very difficult time.

If you're looking for more info, here are some resources that I found useful:

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