If you were gone tomorrow, would your family be financially OK?
That is a jarring question, and one that most of us try to avoid.
As difficult as this scenario is to consider, however, we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to be able to answer the question with certainty.
Below are some points to consider:
- Estate Plan
- Do you have up to date wills, trusts, and other applicable documents? Have you gone through the documents in the past 5 years? What has changed since they were written? Is it time for an update?
- Does your estate plan help and encourage family collaboration while safeguarding relationships? Many a family has been torn apart by disputes regarding an inheritance.
- Life Insurance
- Do you have life insurance in place? Is it enough so that your spouse and children would not have to worry about money when you are gone?
- We can’t control very much in this situation, but we can control the windfall that our dependents would receive if we die unexpectedly.
- Do your loved ones know the structure of your estate plan? Do they know what your expectations are for the money? If you have young children, this may be a conversation to have with your spouse and the person who would be the legal guardian for your children. If you have adult children, this could be a family meeting where the plan is fleshed out in more detail.
- Studies show that aging parents have a difficult time bringing up finances with their children. This is understandable, but it needs to happen at some point. Your adult children can handle it, and the risks of them knowing how much money the family has pale in comparison to the burden that an unexpected inheritance can be.
- The Things No One Thinks About
- Passwords, document locations, lock boxes, safe combinations, utilities, iPhone lock codes, and anything else that your loved ones would need.
- If you knew you weren’t going to wake up tomorrow, what information would your loved ones need to handle everything? Consider a tool like everplans to help with this.
- Trusted Person
- Is there someone in your life whom trust to be there for your family if something happens to you? We work with many clients who view us as that person who they trust to be across the table from their spouse should this situation arise. We are often one of the first calls that is made, because we know where everything is and we’ve helped clients through this before.
So, we ask again.
If you were gone tomorrow, would your family be financially ok?
If you aren’t sure, take time to reflect. We at Confluence Financial Partners have been helping clients answer that question in the affirmative for decades, and we would be honored to be able to help you as well. We know this isn’t a pleasant thing to work through, but it’s worth it, and you owe it to those you love.