You probably don't want to think about it, but there will come a time when you're not here, a time when your family will have to fend for themselves. If you do nothing to prepare for that day, your family could struggle financially, emotionally, and legally, trying to put the pieces of their lives back together after your death. Following are four things you can do now to protect your family and make life easier for them when you die.
Put It in Writing
Talk to an attorney and create a will or trust to aid in the distribution of your assets after you die. Not only do these documents say who gets what, they can also take care of family matters. For example, if you have minor children, you can appoint a guardian for them with these legal documents. Although the two documents do basically the same thing, they go about it in different ways. The one that's right for you depends solely on your needs and individual circumstances.
Get Enough Life Insurance
Purchase enough life insurance to pay off your debts and give your family a financial cushion. When choosing a payout limit, it's important to think about everything that might affect the financial well-being of your family. If they won't be able to afford your house after you pass, you want to have enough life insurance to pay it off. If your spouse has ongoing medical concerns or isn't able to work, you will want to leave them enough money to live on.
Update Your Beneficiaries
Don't forget to update your beneficiaries across the board. If you have a retirement plan and a will, the beneficiary listed on the retirement plan will get the money even if you stipulated something different in your will. Don't leave any loose ends. Whenever you update your will, be sure to update your policies, plans, and accounts as well.
Organize Your Paperwork
Don't make it difficult for your family to find your paperwork. Place everything they will need after your death, such as your will, insurance policy, banking information, and attorney contact information, in a safe place. Let someone know where all of your documents are.
There are several things you can do now to protect your family after your death. If you haven't done any of the things listed above, it's time to do them now. Life is fragile, and nobody knows what tomorrow brings.