How to Think About the Unthinkable
The last thing you want to think about is losing your partner. It is one of those realities that is so easy to overlook. However, should something happen to you or your partner, not having discussed and prepared for it can make the blow even harder and have major ramifications on the livelihood of the widowed individual. Here are some things to consider when discussing death.
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
Everyone should have a will, it is an important part of actively managing your life and your relationships – ensuring that your wishes are carried out even after you are gone. Legally, spouses are entitled to the estate of their deceased partner. However, you may have other interests that you’d like to address. Maybe you have children from a previous marriage who you would like to receive money or property. Maybe there is a charity or cause you’d like to bestow with funds. Talk to your partner about what you are both outlining in your wills. Also, it is extremely important to appoint guardianship of your children should something happen to both of you. This is a most unpleasant task to undertake, but part of parenting is hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
Have a Contingency Plan
It takes money to run a household and, unfortunately, death does not change this basic truth. Life insurance is a key way to ensure that the household can continue running even if one partner passes away. When choosing a life insurance plan, think realistically about your debts and financial obligations. Invest in a plan that would allow your widow to make a smoother transition back into everyday life.
Knowledge Does Equal Power
It isn’t uncommon for one partner in a marriage to handle most of the financial aspects of the household. It is critical that you and your partner both understand your marriage’s money machine. Both of you need to be familiar with all of your accounts and investments and have easy access to that paperwork. Both of you need to be fully educated on your respective pension plans and employment benefits. Make sure to make copies of all important financial documents, contracts and deeds and keep a copy of these in a safe-deposit box. Even if one of you is the financial manager of your household, both of you need to understand this process so you could take the reins if your situation changes.
Leave Nothing Unsaid
The reality is that we never know what tomorrow might bring. While it is important to make sure your financial affairs are in order, it is also important to value and appreciate your partner everyday. When visiting the issues discussed above, also take a moment to remind your spouse about the priceless value of your relationship and of your enduring love.
Remember, while it is difficult to discuss the possibility of death, it is also extremely important. These discussions not only help you protect your partnership, but they also help to remind us of the valuable gift of life and love.