No one likes to think about the fact that ultimately they will pass beyond this life, no longer able to care for their family when there are still dependents in the home. Unfortunately, we never know when that moment will come and if you are the sole supporter of a family with dependents, there are some things you should do before it is too late to see to their finances in the event of an untimely death.
Make Your Own Funeral Arrangements
One of the hardest moments for your survivors to deal with is that time when they need to meet with the funeral home to make arrangements for your funeral. This is especially difficult if your death is sudden and totally unexpected. Not only are they dealing with this sense of extreme loss, they are floundering in the dark trying to make decisions that you always made. By talking to the funeral home well in advance to make all the arrangements, you spare them this pain and of course the worry about how they will pay for the services and interment.
One of the suggestions offered by J. Henry Stuhr Funeral Chapels and Crematory in Charleston, South Carolina is that you begin making payment arrangements for everything as soon as you have settled on how you would like your services and burial or cremation to take place. This will ensure that your family has one less worry to contend with upon your passing. They want to give you the very best send-off they can afford but if finances aren’t secure, they will stress over how to handle that aspect of your passing.
It Goes Without Saying – Life Insurance Is a Must
If there is a spouse in the home, chances are they will be named beneficiary of any insurance policies you buy. One thing to be aware of is the fact that there are several options for choosing the life insurance policy best suited for your family’s future financial security so don’t enter into this decision lightly. Make sure to shop around and find out which will provide the amount and type of payments your family will need. Some are set up to pay a lump sum upon your passing whist others can offer periodic payments/dividends so that your family has a regular source of ‘income’ in the event that you are no longer able to provide.
Speaking of life insurance policies, if you have a mortgage on your home it would be in your best interest to have that insured as well. In addition to a separate life insurance policy that will provide money for day-to-day living for your family, you will want to set up a life insurance policy on your mortgage so that it is paid in its entirety upon your death. Now your family will not have this financial burden to think about and the additional sum from your other policies should see them through their average living expenses.
Arrange for Grief and Financial Counseling for Your Survivors
No matter how much insurance you have purchased or how complete your advance funeral arrangements are, there is something else you should be aware of. Your family will be in shock, maybe for months or even years to follow, and there is every possibility they will make poor financial choices during this time. Too many people set up multiple insurance policies, plan their own funeral and when all is said and done, the family either out of guilt or loss spend money foolishly. It isn’t uncommon and something you really need to take care of in the eventuality that your passing is unexpected.
Some people talk to their clergy to establish that family members will be counseled upon their passing whilst others hire the services of financial counselors. Your attorney may be able to assist you here in setting up a will that specifies how and for what any resources can be spent in your absence. The point is, your family will more than likely not know how to handle finances upon your passing if you have always made all or most of the decisions in your household.
This isn’t something that we like to think about, but the reality is that someone needs to. There is no guarantee that you will see a long future as you had envisioned so it is up to you to see to the financial security of your family upon your death. No, you don’t need to rush out and get things done today, but this is something that bears considerable thought and something you should begin thinking about sooner rather than later. There is no time like the present to plan for the future.