The Importance of a Will and Life Insurance for Your Family

The Importance of a Will and Life Insurance for Your Family | Baby Chick

The Importance of a Will and Life Insurance for Your Family

Did you know that more than half of Americans don’t have a will? Did you also know that nearly 4% of Americans will die before they reach the age of 40?

Pretty scary statistic, isn’t it? But when you’re young and in the prime of your life and just getting married and having babies, this is not a statistic that crosses your mind. You have so much life left ahead of you, you’re so young, you’re in great health. Getting a will can wait for a little while, right?

I thought that, too. And then one night last October I woke up to a nightmare. I will spare you the details, because, frankly, I don’t want to relive it, but that night I lost my 36-year-old, perfectly healthy (as far as we knew) husband. In the blink of an eye, I became a widow with two small children. And we didn’t have wills.

Do I have your attention now? Good. Because if it can happen to me, if it can happen to my husband, it can happen to you. Look, I know wills and death and all of this stuff is depressing and boring, but it’s so, SO important. None of us are promised a tomorrow. None of us are promised a long and healthy life. None of our children are promised to have two living parents to raise them. So you need to take the time to do what’s necessary now, before it’s too late.

Essential Estate Planning Documents

These documents are the absolute essentials when it comes to making sure you and your assets are taken care of in the event of your death. You can hire an estate planning attorney to draw them up for you (an investment I highly encourage and recommend) or you can hire a service like Legal Zoom or Rocket Lawyer to create them.

  1. A Will — a will is a legally binding document that gives you control over what happens to your estate (and your minor children) in the event of your death. It makes managing your assets easier for those you’ve left behind.
  2. Medical Power of Attorney — this document allows the person you have chosen to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
  3. Durable General Power of Attorney — this is a document that appoints a person of your choosing to take care of financial matters when you are unable to do so.
  4. Living Will — also called an “advanced health care directive,” allows you to very specifically express your desires for end-of-life medical treatment, such as being removed from life support.
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Other Important Things to Consider

Invest in life insurance.

Many people assume that life insurance is expensive and so they don’t purchase it. It is actually really affordable and it is something you should invest in immediately. You can purchase a decent life insurance policy starting as low as $20 a month. I can tell you from experience that not having life insurance is devastating for the family you could leave behind. Even a small policy will help your family be able to afford any medical bills or funeral expenses, which are, unfortunately, very expensive. You can learn more about affordable life insurance policies at Haven Life.

Talk to your spouse about how you want to be laid to rest.

Listen, I know how hard this conversation will be. My husband and I talked about whether we wanted to be cremated or buried but after he died I couldn’t remember what he said he wanted. I wish we had written it down! Have this hard conversation with your spouse, but also sit and write it down together. Or write it separately if you don’t want to discuss is because it upsets you. Then take that document and include it with your will, or at the very least, put it in a safe place where you’ll know to look for it if the unexpected happens.

Keep your documents in a safe place.

Buy a small fireproof safe and keep it in a closet. Put your signed and notarized wills and other documents in that safe and leave them there. Or you can purchase a safe deposit box in a bank and keep them there. Whatever you choose to do, you just want to make sure your documents remain intact should anything happen to your house. The last thing you want to happen to those important documents after you’ve gone to all the trouble of planning your estate is for all of it to go up in smoke.

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Believe me, I know how uncomfortable a topic this is. I know how it can make even a grown man squirm to think about these things. But you have to. I can’t tell you more plainly than that. Never in a million years did I think that I would become a widow at 37 years old, but here I am. And now I am having to deal not only with the grief of losing my husband, and the grief of my children, but also the strenuous, stressful and tedious task of handling my husband’s affairs without the benefit of a will. This is not a situation I would wish for anyone. So please, set aside one weekend with your spouse and get these things done. I promise you it is worth the effort.

About the Author /

https://www.senseandserendipityblog.com

Cheyenne is an attorney, writer, speaker and blogger with a slight obsession for home decor, red wine, and good coffee. Cheyenne’s blog, Sense & Serendipity, focuses on inspiring others to create a home well loved and a life well lived. Cheyenne lives in San Marcos, Texas with her two children, Aislin and Hawkins.

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Instagram post 17920976449353517 💪 Mom Hacks for Staying Fit After Having Kids⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Instagram post 18110828746014338 The first year after baby is the leading time when marriages break up. The extra stress, lack of sleep, and major life changes can all contribute to communication breakdown and losing intimacy. 💔 That's why protecting relationships is such an important part of postpartum planning (done in pregnancy). Parenthood is an emotionally provocative experience. These heightened emotions help you tune into your baby's needs, but it can also help you tune into each other.⁠
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17882796163445028 Happy Halloween! 🎃 Hope there is minimal (to no) whining and you don't have to break out your inner Mary Poppins to still create a magical evening with the family. ⁠
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Instagram post 18110876884020847 Of course you love being a mom. You love your kids. You love your family. And you would NEVER change any of it. But it's okay to acknowledge that motherhood is hard and that there are parts of it that we don't always love. This does not make us bad moms. We have limits, we get tired and we're human.⁠
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I think sharing only the beautiful sides of motherhood to women who don't have children does them a disservice. It's important to have an understanding of what the reality is like so if they decide to have a baby welcoming their little one and becoming a mom is not as jarring or eye-opening. It doesn't mean that we should fear-monger. It's just being honest about all sides of motherhood--the crazy, exhausting, beautiful and best thing ever. ❤️⁠
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