Most parents don’t like to think about it, and they don’t like to talk about it. The problem with that is that they don’t have a plan. We all know we are going to die, but most people live as if they will live forever. 64% of Americans do not have a will. And the other thing is, we live as if we will die at a time that is natural, normal, and convenient, and that is never true.
For parents of minors this topic has specific implications, and that leads us to the Four Questions Every Parent Needs to Answer:
1. Who will take care of your children? This is one of the most difficult questions you will face as a couple. You will probably never need to implement the answer you come up with, but simply having the conversation and coming to a decision will teach you so much about what you value individually and collectively.
2. Who will make financial and medical decisions if you become seriously injured? Very few people think adequately about a plan for if they die, almost nobody thinks through a plan for if they are seriously incapacitated.
3. Do you have a Last Will and Testament, and has it been appropriately updated recently? Nobody dies when they expect to die, and one of the last gifts we can leave those we love is to not leave them a mess by planning and leaving things in order.
4. Do you have life insurance? Money isn’t everything, but ensuring your children’s financial security in the event you are not around to provide for them is critically important. These funds can be used to make sure they have the daily necessities of life, along with ensuring they get the education they need to launch them into life so they can follow their dreams and provide for themselves.
Most of the important things in life are never urgent. These questions fall into that category. There will be things every day for the rest of your life that you would rather do than tackle these questions. But if you take the time to explore these questions and come up with a plan, I think you will find that the exercise enriches your life in unimagined ways.
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