As most of us are all too aware, life can change in the blink of an eye. It’s one of those things we don’t like to think about, let alone talk about or actually plan for. But we need to face up to the fact that we won’t always be there. As parents, it’s even more important and yet even harder to plan for. Here are a few uncomfortable truths about future-proofing for parents.
Life insurance matters
It’s easy to put life insurance to the bottom of your list of priorities. After all, getting life insurance quotes is important, but it’s not urgent. We all fall into the trap of doing the urgent things before the important ones. For example, getting something for dinner tonight is urgent, so we do it. But is it as important as making sure your children will be comfortable financially if something happens?
One thing I’d never looked into personally is term life insurance quotes. This simply means life insurance that pays a guaranteed lump sum if you die within the term of the policy. It is different to whole life insurance in that it’s just for a fixed period. So for parents, that fixed period may be until children are of an age where they would naturally have got a job and moved out. This is cheaper than getting whole of life insurance that pays out on your death, whenever that is, as long as you keep up with premium payments.
Make a will
For us, a will has never been a priority simply because we don’t have much. There’s the house, which would automatically go to the remaining spouse and / or the children. But that’s about it. So, is it worth making a will? I think it probably is. Whilst there’s not much to argue over, I would rather there were no arguments at all. If we happened to come into some money, I don’t want it to cause a family feud after we are gone.
The likelihood is that there would never be an issue until the children were grown up anyway. But unfortunately, I have known of too many families that have fallen out over money. It’s impossible to guess what somebody would have wanted. If one of my children had plenty and the other was struggling, would I still want the house to be split in half between them? It’s a lot to consider, but better to think of it now rather than wonder whether my girls will argue over it later if I was to die intestate.
Be in the photo
Whilst financial stability and a well thought out will are important, the main thing we all cling to when someone passes away is the memories. Leaving some money and treasured possessions is one thing, but recent photos will be cherished even more. It is always a sad thing when you think of a loved one you have lost and can no longer picture their face.
So however you feel about the way you look, hand over the camera occasionally. Ask someone to capture a photo of you with friends and family or doing something you love. Who knows whether that photo could become someone’s most treasured possession.