Having children is a game changer. You want to do everything in your power to protect your family and provide for them no matter what. But do you have everything in place to protect your family if the worst happens? Have you got life cover? Is your will up to date? Have you discussed your plans with loved ones? Here are 8 Crucial Things Parents Need to Prepare In Case You Die.
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While this is not a happy-go-lucky topic to discuss, this is a necessary one. You need to ensure that you have put certain things in place to protect your children, should the worst scenario take place.
8 Crucial Things Parents Need to Prepare In Case You Die
#1. Talk to Loved Ones
Getting your affairs in order is not just something older people should do. Once you become a parent and/or a property owner it is essential that you have your legal and financial affairs in order. And that your loved ones know your wishes if you were to become ill or die. It is important to discuss with your partner or family what your wishes are in the case of different life scenarios.
For instance, if you or your partner were to get ill and couldn’t work for an extended period of time, or had a medical emergency or if one or both of you were to die, how would this impact the other members of your family both legally and financially?
Discussing where loved ones can find important documents, ensuring you are both signatories on any accounts you have, giving them a list of important contacts such as your solicitor, bank manager, doctor(s), investment or fund managers, insurance companies, credit card companies, etc. can make all the difference in the case of an emergency.
Morbid as it sounds, it is also wise for you to discuss funeral and burial or cremation arrangements too. And let loved ones know if you have signed up for organ donation.
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#2. Arrange Life Cover
Life cover is a fundamental financial cover to have in place for a whole host of reasons. Don’t get confused between Life Cover for family protection and a Mortgage Protection policy.
A Mortgage Protection is required by a bank to ensure your home is paid for in full if either owner dies and is as much for the banks protection as for the borrower as all proceeds go to the lender. What’s left for the family of a deceased parent to live off for future years?
A Life Insurance policy should be in place to cover future education costs, living expenses and replacement of homemaker or income earner in the event of a premature death. It’s a lot cheaper than people think and essential for the future financial security of a family with dependent children.
#3. Write a Will
Do you have a will? It took me years after the birth of my first child to make a will. I really didn’t understand the importance of having one in place in the case of my death, which I hope won’t happen for many years. But here are some of the top reasons to get a will in place.
- It makes life much easier for those left behind.
- You get to say who will look after your children, if they are under the legal age to be left alone. If this is not in place they could end up in the care of the state or with a relative that the court has appointed. Do talk to the person you nominate so that it is not a complete shock to them!
- You decide who will benefit from your estate and more importantly, who will not.
- It speeds up the probate period.
- You get to choose the executor of your estate.
- You can give donations to causes, charities etc.
- It can reduce the cost of inheritance tax for your loved ones.
#4. Look Into Trust Funds
Looking after and providing for your children is important to all of us. Putting financial cover in place for them in case you can’t provide for them makes sense.
Deciding how and when they get those funds is also important, and by setting up a trust fund, you get to decide how that money or assets will be dealt with.
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#5. Decide Who Will Look After Your Children
Although it is unlikely to happen, have you made arrangements with relatives or friends in the event that you and your partner were to die while your children were under 18?
If left to chance, your children may end up with a relative they don’t want to live with, in a place far away from where they currently live or even as a ward of the state.
Discuss with your kids, if they are old enough, who they would be comfortable with and what they would like. And you should also talk to the relative or friend that you choose to ensure that they would be happy to have your children in such a scenario. Put everything down in your will so there can be no confusion.
#6. Know Your Entitlements
After a bereavement you may need financial support. You may also qualify for funeral cost support. Knowing what benefits and entitlements are available following death is useful for the surviving spouse or guardians if the worst should happen.
Are you fully aware of what you are entitled to from your employer if you die in service? You should find out about the benefits that would be paid in the event of your death by your employer and spend some time researching what you are entitled to. Then you can consider a back up plan if you feel that the amount would not sufficiently cover your family’s needs.
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#7. Review Investments
You should always have a list of valuable items and assets that you own and include a note in your will of how they should be distributed. This list needs to be reviewed regularly as you make new purchases or sell items.
In addition it is important to review pensions and other policies that will pay out on your death to ensure you have the most up to date information on them. For instance, who is the beneficiary of your first ever pension scheme? You may not have had a partner at that time, so it could be your parents or you may not have had children or only had one child so others are not listed on the policy.
The same goes for bank accounts, do they automatically transfer on death to a nominated person or will they go into probate?
#8. Review Everything Bi-Annually
It is a good idea to review your will, investments, accounts and insurance policies at least every 2 years, but more frequently if you feel this is necessary. Arrange to have everything reviewed with your financial advisor and/or solicitor regularly.
You will hopefully live to a ripe old age and see your family grow up and have a family of their own, but, it is good to be prepared for the worst that can happen.
Have your say. Have you made arrangements for your child in case you die? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments box below