Getting Your Family’s Financial and Legal Affairs In Order
What would happen to your family if you or your spouse died? Take these steps to make sure your family is taken care and has to make as few decisions as possible during their time of grief.
We all want to afford our children the best opportunities that life has to offer. We want them to know that we will always be there for them. Part of being there for them, however, is making sure that they are taken care of if something were to happen to us.
We live in a world filled with uncertainties. It’s not fun to think about, but none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. We all need to make sure that, should the unthinkable happen, our family will be taken care of. Below I will discuss some of the key things that you can do to ensure that your family’s financial and legal affairs are in order.
What, Where and Who?
Who handles the finances in your family?
If you’re like most families, both you and your spouse have certain responsibilities. One of you may balance the checking account while the other handles the retirement planning. Maybe one of you handles the budget while the other takes care of the insurance. You work as a team to make sure that all of the bases are covered.
What if something were to happen to one of you? Would the other be able to easily step in and take over? What if something happened to both of you? Are your affairs organized enough for your successors to step in and manage things for your children?
If not, you need to spend some time getting things organized. While not a comprehensive list, a few of the things you should write down include:
- Who are your advisors and how can they be contacted?
- What assets do you have and what financial institutions are holding them?
- What liabilities do you have?
- What insurance coverages do you have and where are the policies located?
- Where is your will or estate plan located?
By having these things written out with a few simple instructions, you will help to avoid a great many stresses and problems at an already difficult time.
Start living better for less.
Subscribe to get money-saving content by email that can help you stretch your dollars further.
Twice each week you'll receive articles and tips that can help you free up and keep more of your hard-earned money, even on the tightest of budgets.
Subscribers receive a free copy of our eBook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better for Less.
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
When people have children, often times one of the first financial moves they make is to increase their life insurance coverage.
As a parent, I realize that our daughter is 100% dependent on my wife and I. We provide her food, clothing and shelter. If something were to happen to my wife and I, our daughter would still need someone to care for her. It is our job to ensure that the resources are there to meet those needs. Because most of us aren’t able to set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars “just in case,” we buy insurance in order to transfer that risk onto the insurance company.
Because every family is unique, it is important to do your homework when determining how much coverage is appropriate. The main goal is to replace a person’s income when they die. If both spouses work and the amount of money you have to buy insurance is limited, cover the primary wage earner first.
Some important things to consider when evaluating your insurance needs include:
- Income replacement
- Funeral expenses
- Medical costs
- Children’s education costs
- Estate taxes and trustee fees
Make Your Wishes Known
Some things you can do to make sure your wishes are carried out:
- Using powers of attorney, detail who you want to handle your financial and medical decisions if you die or become incapacitated.
- Have a will or estate plan drafted that details who is to care for your children if something were to happen to you.
- Detail your funeral preferences and obituary information.
- Make a list of people that you want contacted if you die.
Life can change suddenly. By investing a small amount of time and energy into organizing your affairs, you can leave a positive legacy for family and other loved ones.
Reviewed December 2021
Wouldn't you like to be a Stretcher too?
Subscribe to get our money-saving content twice per week by email and start living better for less. We'll send you a free copy of our eBook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better for Less to get you started.
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
- 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People
- 5 Simple Budget Cuts That Can Save $200 a Month
- How to Track Down Unclaimed Funds Owed You
- 32 Ways to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
- Do You Need Credit Life Insurance When Buying a New Car?
- How to Maximize Profits When Selling Online
- Staying Motivated to Continue Digging Yourself Out of Debt
- 9 Things You Need to Do Before You Retire
- You Didn’t Save Enough for Retirement and You’re 55+
- When Empty Nesters Reorganize and Declutter Their Home
- Reinventing Your Career in Your 50s or 60s
- What Mature Homeowners Should Know about Reverse Mortgages
- 2 Reasons to Collect Social Security Benefits As Soon As Possible