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Monday, October 25, 2010

Are you (in)sure?

A stressful, yet crucial issue that tops the list of "must do's" for parents, is that of what will happen to your children in the event of you being unable to take care of them. My older child, is now 5 and I have been planning on getting life insurance squared away since before she was born. But as it is not an area that is comfortable to discuss, let alone even think about, it has been put off. Now that here is another little guy depending on us, I feel even stronger about this issue, so have finally set to work to resolve it for my own peace of mind.

It is a strange conversation to have with your spouse, the big "who will take care of our children??" and it is best to make a quick decision and then not dwell on it too much. Usually, your instincts can tell you right away whom you would feel most comfortable leaving in charge of your children, but when you start thinking about the details, such as faith, discipline and general day-to-day tasks, it can get very stressful, and downright sad. NO ONE will fit all the criteria we have set for ourselves as parents, and the likelihood of someone other than you or your spouse having guardianship over your children, is slim. So just make a decision, set it in stone (or in these modern times, a notarized piece of paper) and file it away next to your insurance policies.
All this as well as executor of your estate and power of attorney can be self-made, through a will program, but must be notarized by a third party. I used a fantastic book that came with a CD-ROM and all the appropriate forms by state and a complete how-to for each form :Make Your Own Simple Will by Sphinx Legal.

The next step is insurance. It is important to have life insurance for both you and your spouse, especially if you have a mortgage and any outstanding debt (like college loans or credit cards) that the surviving spouse would be left with. Generally just covering this debt should be enough for a younger family's insurance policy, but you should also consider disability insurance in case one of you was left unable to work. Most insurance company's offer a joint disability/life insurance. Disability is especially important for the breadwinner, as without that income you would struggle the most, however both partners do offer their own priceless contributions to a functioning household.

As for other insurances, this website gives a list of important ones for families.

Love and legality,
Kerry the Momster

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