Michael Lodge - PodCast
I found this great article written by Laura Knolle, CFP®, MS. It is a great article and it lays out a great plan to prepare for death. Death never tells us in advance when it will come, so we all have to be prepared and make sure that those around us know what to do.
Marriage takes teamwork and each of us comes to the table with different skill sets and plays different roles to make it work. If something were to happen to one in the relationship, how would the other do that job? What steps can we take in preparing for the death of a loved one?
I frequently think about this in my personal life. What should I do now to be prepared if my husband suddenly passed away? I’ve been asking my husband for some time to create a household manual. If something were to happen to you, I say, I’d never know how to adjust the sprinklers, alarm, or heater again.
By thinking this way, I gain a deeper appreciation for those unnoticed things that he does for me and I think it’s what makes me a better planner. The death of a spouse can be very emotional, so creating a widow checklist and assembling the information will prepare you to manage the difficult times by decreasing the stress of decision-making under duress. (For more, see: How Women in Transition Should Mind Their Finances.)
The Dangers of Failing to PrepareSince I help many widows and widowers in my practice, I see the consequences of not preparing for this inevitability. And it can often be very dramatic, because dealing with the grief is overwhelming.
The world doesn’t stop working because of tragedy and many widows and widowers struggle to learn about their finances, which is only amplified by the emotion. What’s hard is that it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s why I always recommend that couples come to meetings with me together, so that they both are comfortable not just with the plan but with what they need to do for the times in which life inevitably happens to us.
But I see that more people than just my clients need help in preparations, so below I’ve provided a financial preparation checklist for couples. I encourage you to work on it together.
A Checklist for WidowsKnow who your trusted professionals are, including your:
Have a current estate plan in place. This includes:
Know each other’s passwords. My husband decided to set up LastPass. I was slow to adopt it but now can’t imagine not using it. (For more, see: Why Do Widows Leave Their Advisors?)
Understand what insurance you have in place. This includes:
Lastly, make sure you understand your budget - what bills are due and when. This also includes: