According to an estate planning attorney from our friends at Silverman Law Office, PLLC, ignoring the possibility of death does not keep it from happening, and yet so few couples take the time to prepare for unexpected tragedies effectively. If and when the unthinkable does happen, a heartbroken spouse must then sort through paperwork, track down information, or struggle with even the most basic end-of-life decisions. Do not let this happen to your family. Communicate with your spouse, discuss the details, and make sure you are both prepared for the unexpected with the following estate planning basics for couples.
Calculate the Amount of Life Insurance You and Your Family Will Need
It does not matter if you stay at home and take care of the kids, work part-time, or work full-time: life insurance is a must – for both of you. Expenses add up (and are sometimes not thought of until after a tragedy happens): Examples include:
- Childcare costs after the stay-at-home parent is gone
- A mortgage that one person may not be able to pay on their own
- Potential hospital bills from an accident or sudden illness
- College tuition for children
- Debts that may not be excused after death
- Cost of everyday bills
Another important tip is never to rely on life insurance through your employer. While it is a benefit that may help after a tragedy, it is rarely enough to cover final expenses, let alone any extra expenses that may be incurred in the weeks or months immediately after a loss. Job changes, layoffs, and other factors within the company can also put your policy at risk, which can leave your family with little to no financial resources for your final expenses.
Keep Financial Records in a Secure and Known Place
According to national statistics, 30 percent of married adults and 23 percent of children had no idea how to access their family’s financial records. For a grieving child or spouse, hunting this information can be extremely stressful, and it may exasperate their grief. Instead, documents should be in a secure and known place. This includes wills and trusts, banking information, life insurance companies and policy numbers, important numbers (including those of family and friends), and any other relevant information.
The Importance of Wills and Trusts
Regardless of your financial situation, wills and trusts are essential pieces of the estate planning puzzle. This helps to reduce the time it takes for assets to reach their intended parties, ensures your children and family are cared for, and it can eliminate a lot of stress for loved ones. Plan yours with the help of a skilled estate planning attorney.
Contact an Estate Planning Law Firm Today
If you would like to learn more about the estate planning options and tools you may have, contact a seasoned estate planning attorney.