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Final Preparations

08/04/2009

If you are married and especially if you have children, a Last Will & Testament is a vital piece of planning, along with good life insurance policies. I am amazed at how many parents do not have either – forgive me for being blunt, but what will your children do without you much less without food and shelter??

My husband and I opted to use Legal Zoom where you can purchase a last will, living trust, living will, and various other legal documents for a nominal fee. The standard will package is $69 with options going up to $119. We saved money by filling out the questionnaire just for him, and then when the document was sent to us in pdf format, I used Pages (the Mac equivalent to Word) to find and replace all “her” and “wife” and such to “him” and “husband.” Nolo also offers a will package for $49. Our wills are very simple and short. Basically direction as to who will care for our children in the event of our deaths. The state of GA is one of the few states where minors whose parents passed without a will can very easily become wards of the state – the very last thing I want for my precious babies to endure!

As for life insurance, the younger you get it the cheaper it is and the more you need. Figure that any debt (house, car, credit cards) you have should be taken care of as a safety net for your spouse and family (a lot less regular income is needed if there are no credit card, car or house payments!). Figure in also that if you have children, you’re not going to want your spouse to have to work 40+ hours a week. If you’re like us (planning to homeschool), you would prefer they not have to work much at all so that the method in which you desired to raise your kids can be preserved even after tragedy. Even if your kids are in school, wouldn’t they like to be home when the kids are? Figure what yearly amount will be required to sustain your family sufficiently without having to work three jobs. Of course, the older the kids get, the less you technically require because as they age they will be more and more able to be responsible for themselves (16 year olds won’t require the level of attention a 4 year old needs, and could possibly have their own part-time job to defray their personal expenses). We went with Northwestern Mutual because of their reputation and low premiums/high return.

Both the husband and the wife should have similar amounts – there is a tendency to put less on the wife without considering that she’s not just mom at home, she’s also driver, cook, cleaner, decorator, organizer, nanny, psychotherapist, massage therapist and personal shopper.

It’s sad, heartbreaking and somewhat depressing to think about these things long enough to make plans, but once it’s done, it’s done and you can rest assured the people you care for most of all in the whole world (your babies) will be safe, taken care of properly and raised in a manner in which you would wish. Tiny Blavatar 02

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