In A Split Second Your Life Can Change
We must be prepared for so many things because in a split second your life can change. It may be a job loss, a car accident, a serious illness, or an unexpected accident when you are at home. We have all had someone affected by some of these situations and it’s heartbreaking. You may think you have a handle on everything and BAM, your life can change instantly. This is why we must all share with our adult or married kids certain things that are critical if you find yourself in a life or death predicament.
I know I can hear some of you say, there is no way I’m sharing with my family certain things about my bank accounts, my retirement accounts, blah blah blah. I get it, I really do. But for me, my daughters know everything because I have worked at a bank and I do not want my accounts to be taken by the government from inactivity.
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when the newspaper or online notices post names in the state where you live looking for individuals that have money sitting in bank accounts that are dwindling from inactivity. Or property that is owned and considered by the state to be abandoned. I look every year but my name is never there.
The reason I’m writing this post today is to make people aware of what happens to the family if YOU are hurt or incapacitated. If you are the breadwinner, does your family know where you bank? Do they know if you have a mortgage and where it is paid? Do you have loans or other obligations set up for automatic payments? Do you know where the utilities are paid? Is your health insurance paid monthly, quarterly or yearly?
What about the car or home insurance, is it paid? Do you know who the agents are, etc? If something happened where your family member is in a hospital with no way to communicate, could you make the payments that are scheduled and do so on time? If the family member died, do you know how to keep the home front going until insurance kicks in?
This brings me to another item, TERM Life Insurance. Maybe some of you have it or maybe you don’t believe in life insurance. I see donations being made to help others, that is so nice, I understand helping others. BUT, we must be self-reliant and purchase life insurance if you have a family, especially if you have kids at home. Term insurance is purchased for a particular term, like 10 or 2o years and the premium is based on your age, current health and lifestyle, along with some family health history issues. When the term period is up and you go to buy another policy more than likely it will cost more since you’re older and more likely to have health issues.
Here’s the deal, it’s cheap if you are young and healthy. Once you get a disease or have a something like a heart attack you may be uninsurable. Please buy life insurance to at least help the family that’s left behind because of an accident, or serious illness. Typically where you work offers a group plan with a bargain price on life insurance.
When Mark and I had children at home, we bought enough life insurance to cover our home mortgage and income for at least three years. This amount would cover Mark’s income and life insurance on me. Should I die first it would cover daycare for our daughters. It was cheap. Now universal life or whole life insurance is another story. They are like putting money into a savings account on a regular monthly basis. The premiums stay the same over time based on the amount of coverage you purchased initially. The good thing is you can build up what is known as “cash value” which can be borrowed against in case of emergency. The cost of this insurance is higher because of the cash value factor and because the risk of death goes up with age but the premiums don’t.
I have a friend where her husband died unexpectedly and the wife had no idea where or how the bills were paid, where her mortgage was held, she didn’t even have a cell phone of her own. Her whole life was turned upside down in a matter of minutes after her husband was gone. She had four young children. Luckily, her husband had purchased life insurance. It’s been a blessing to her and the kids.
I have also seen just the opposite, the family did not have any life insurance and the kids had to be handed off to family members and the wife had to go back to work with small children at home. This may be a very touchy question to ask a family member to see if they have taken advantage of the group policies available through their work. I’m not an insurance agent or expert, but someone who has insurance and feels it is important. Sit down with someone who is licensed to sell the various types of life insurance and make sure you budget something so you and your family have some protection.
If you are uncomfortable asking, just wait until they are left without the spouse’s income. It’s a nightmare, I know from experience because I have helped neighbors figure it out. It’s not fun, we must be self-reliant, please do not count on donations, we must take care of our own family.
Life Can Change
Here is a list of things that you may have to do if someone you love dies or is hurt and unable to communicate for days, weeks or even months.
- Pay the mortgage payments as well as the homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.
- Make sure your/their health insurance is paid in a timely matter.
- Vehicle insurance and property taxes must be paid on time.
- Pay the utility bills or they may be cut off.
- Please share with your family where your life insurance policies are and who the agents are.
- You may want an adult child on your bank accounts if you are getting older, they can then help you when needed.
- Set up automatic payments for all bills that need to be paid monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
- Set up a “do not resuscitate” sheet at your doctor’s and post it on your frig, where it can be seen by anyone.
- Set up a trust so there are no fights after you die or maybe less fighting. Fingers crossed.
Have a folder with bank account numbers and retirement income sources. My FREE printable binder has the sheets ready for you to download and fill them in as needed. I pray you will never have to deal with a life-changing emergency, but the chances are you will. Please be prepared in this way so you can sleep at night knowing your family is well taken care of if something happens to you.
May God bless you and your family to be healthy, and safe.
Leanne reminded me about this: As for many things, we should all have medical powers of attorney in the event of a situation where we are unable to make medical/end of life decisions for ourselves.
Ambulance: AdobeStock_121610 by Aaron Kohr
8 thoughts on “In A Split Second Your Life Can Change”
My brother is my only beneficiary, so I set things up so the big items will go directly to him. I know not everyone would be comfortable doing it, but I have my brother on the deed to my house and on my bank account. Since we are siblings and not spouses or parent/child, it would be more difficult for him to claim these things on my death. By having him on the deed and accounts, in the event of my death, it will go directly to him. There won’t be any lawyers, courts, state, etc., involved, and it won’t cost him anything but copies of the death certificate and any fees involved in changing ownership.
Have a great day my friend. Hugs, Mare
Hi, Mare, you are so smart!!! I love hearing you put your brother on all of your important big items. Nothing will go to probate, you are a wise woman as always. Thanks for sharing your comments, I’m glad you thought ahead on this because it would be a huge mess if you were to die and it goes to probate. You rock! Hugs, Linda
Life insurance is so important, especially for your children. Our 21 yr old son died suddenly. Luckily we had put rider policies for our children on my life insurance until they turned 22. My husband also had policies on our children through his work. Funerals are expensive and I was so grateful that we had the funds to cover those expenses. I totally agree that we need to be self reliant . Your post gave me a lot of things to think about that I need to prepare. Thanks for all of your wonderful advice.
Hi, Cindy, oh your comment is awesome! I’m so sorry about your sweet son, but you were smart to be prepared with insurance. I have talked to people and some are afraid to ask their married kids if they have insurance. I don’t get it. I have contributed to a few donation projects for special friends but its really important that we take care of our own family. I’m so glad you had the money to bury your sweet son, what a sad day. My heart breaks for you. I hope people read this and realize we need insurance, life can change when we least expect it. Hugs, Linda
One has to be careful (at least where I live) putting children on the deed, car, bank accounts, etc. These things are seen as “income” and could have an effect on the children’s ability to get a loan or mortgage.
As for many things, we should all have medical powers of attorney in the event of a situation where we are unable to make medical/end of life decisions for ourselves.
Hi Leanne, I’m glad you reminded me of this because you are right in some situations. In my state, they are not income unless they show the “income” on their tax returns such as rental income from properties. You are also correct on the names on the bank accounts but only if they use those bank statements to qualify for a loan. If the family members are on the deed but not the loan they could still qualify for a loan. It does get a little tricky, you are so right. I could go on and on with scenarios but the real reason for my post today is to make people aware of the banks, the numbers, etc. for family members. I’m also going to add your last paragraph in your comment to my post. The reason I wrote this post is that we have a friend who was critically injured three weeks ago and they are going to take him off life support this weekend. Thanks for that reminder. Life is fragile. Thank you, Linda
Another thing, you need to sign a “do not resusitate” sheet at your doctor’s and post it on your frig, where it can be seen by anyone. It will go on your medical records. Families can go bankrupt paying to keep a family member alive. That is what staff
have been trained to do, so they need to know that your don’t want it. Saves families a lot of money! Also, have your property in a trust. It really saves taxes and saves headaches down the line.
Hi Cheryl, oh my goodness, yes!! Mark and I have that, but I need to go add it to the post right now. Thanks for the reminder. It’s critical we have those!! Linda