K.S. asks from Frankston, TX on September 17, 2007
SAHM With a Will and Life Insurance?
I've been thinking a lot lately about what will happen to our kids should something happen to both me and my husband. He is of course insured quite a bit since he's a fireman. I on the other hand have no life insurance at all. I know I need it even if he was left to tend to the kids because of funeral expenses and the added cost of keeping the house and child care and college savings etc. But, what is a good amount?? I have no idea.
Also we have no kind of will at all. If we both died tomorrow my kids would be custody of the state while grandparents fought over how got to keep them! I am not even sure I want any of the grandparents to have them at all. I guess my question on this is do you have a will, if so, who did you pick to leave your kids with, and how did you come to that decision? And, did you go through a lawyer or did you use some kind of do-it-yourself program?
D.G. answers from Houston on September 17, 2007
www.uslegalforms.com is recommended by Dave Ramsey. And YES! Get a will & 20 year fixed term life insurance both. I am essential a SAHM, but I have $500K on me & $1 mil on hubby. Dave suggests 8-10 times your annual income as a guideline for getting it. Go to www.zander.com to get a quote. We moms are difficult to replace in more ways than just income and our absence alone will increase a need for childcare & other home services- all resulting in increased outflows of funds!
You've gotten some good info about wills, too. I have my girls going to my best friend should anything happen to my hubby & me, b/c there is NO ONE in my immediate family I want to have any thing to do w/ raising my children! Get those things in writing- NOW! You just never know when life may turn or twist- we're very fragile creatures! ;)
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R. answers from Dallas on September 17, 2007
We have both and I definitely suggest that you get a will-because you are right, what if?!?
One of your questions was how do you decide who to leave the kids with? For us, we figured that our parents couldn't truly take care of them and so we decided what was most important to us regarding the care of our children and we wanted someone who had our religious values as well as on the same level as we were in regards to education, traditions, discipline etc. Of course we don't know anyone exactly like us but we choose our best friends and we put in the will that they would take them and allow them to go seperately to see family on holidays, vacations etc. Also, don't assume thata someone will automatically agree-not everyone wants to "inherit" extra children. Just a thought. HTH.
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A.D. answers from Dallas on September 17, 2007
YES YES YES YES get a will AND life insurance! You can NEVER guarantee that your wishes will be carried out without one.
www.legalzoom.com is a place to start if you want to do it yourself...
and life insurance... 500K to 1M -- if you're gone, you have to think of care for your children, college, assistance around the house, etc...
if you don't do it for yourself...do it for your children...
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D.W. answers from Dallas on September 17, 2007
We are in the process of getting a will and life insurance. I was surprised at the amount of life insurance needed just to cover the expenses (funeral, mortgage, daycare/education, etc.)
The advantage of going to a financial planner (I can recommend mine) is that they have the knowledge of the different types of life insurances, (term, whole, etc.) and can recommend what would work best for you, given your financial situation and what is important to you.
I would recommend going to an attorney for the will. (I can let you know if I recommend one in a few weeks...hehe) Texas has specific laws that some of the online wills do not address. So even though this might sound like what you want, if you ever need it, you might find out then that it doesn't cover everything. Not a good time to find that out, in my opinion. :)
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K.K. answers from Dallas on September 17, 2007
My husband does Financial Advising (his full time job is a forecast analyst)....he can do a financial needs assessment and tell you what is recommended for your specific situation. This is a free service for your family. It is great you are thinking ahead and realizing you contribute to the family and if you were for some horrible reason not around, your husband would have a hard hit. He is available through email or phone for you to ask questions and/or schedule your needs assessment---it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to do one.
His name is Kevin Kitch
Yes, we have a will. We just did on from a software program we bought. It is not fancy, but it is notarized and the people that will be given the financial responsibility and the guardianship of our children, both have copies. We have two different people doing these 'positions' for us. I chose my sister (twin) for guardianship 1. she knows how I treat my children 2. she knows everything about me 3. we share common values, morals,and Christianity 4. she is most like me and loves mine as her own. The person who will be in charge of our financial part, he understands how we manage money, what our long term and short term goals are for the children and he agrees with these, he has no vested interest in our money for his own sake, and he is a grandparent of our kids.
Hope that helps...it is tough, but we feel SO much better now we have it in place. You will too.
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A.C. answers from Dallas on September 18, 2007
I absolutely agree that a SAHM is invaluable and that families need to be prepared. My best friend's parents died in a crash on New Year's Eve almost 3 years ago and everything went crazy. Insurance $ helped, but because there was no will (they were only in their mid-40s) the 2 kids are STILL fighting and it will go to court (TO BEGIN)sometime next year. It's crazy. The family has fallen apart over everything, the son started doing drugs over the stress and now the kids no longer speak to each other except through lawyers. Who would imagine this would happen to a really normal family? As soon as our son was born, we started the conversations and planning for the worst case scenario. We aren't looking for bad things to happen, but want to make provisions to insure that what our biggest priority/responsibility, our son, is taken care of. There's a few things to think about. For example, I just took for granted that my mom would be the person who would take my son, but after talking to my husband, I realized that would be a really heavy burden: imagining her in her 60s or 70s with a teenage boy wouldn't be good. We settled on my brother and his family and had a real talk with them, and that's what we've done. We looked at responsibility and family life, that they were very willing to take this responsibility, young enough to raise Joseph to adulthood should something happen to us, that we have the same priorities (Christianity, education, life experiences, charities, etc), similar styles in discipline, stuff like that. We're also close enough in relationship that my son wouldn't be "traumatized" over having to move in with someone new. Fortunately, after we did this unpleasant task, we know that is a burden we don't have to worry about anymore and can go on doing what we're supposed to do: live life to the fullest.
Another thing we've done in case of an emergency is to add my mom's name (again, we're very close and trust her implicitly)to our checking account and one "emergency credit card" that we never use. She doesn't live here or have checks, and the credit card with her name on it is actually here where we keep our checks and financials, but if we were hurt or hospitalized or whatever, she'd have access to our money to make sure bills are paid and our son is cared for with as little disruption as possible. That way there's no waiting around in probate and worrying about cash for immediate needs. Conversely, I am on my mom's account for the same thing. On a less morbid note, this came in handy one time when I was single, out of town, on a job and my debit card became demagnetized. I couldn't get money and my mom was able to just go to the bank and pull out my money while I waited for my new card to arrive. People always think to do this with a spouse, but IF there's a person in your life that you could trust, I'd have a backup that you're not living with or traveling with. If not at work, my husband and I are always together. We could both be affected if there was an accident and it makes me feel good to know that someone else could take care of my business easily, without waiting for redtape to clear. But we're not in any way "morbid-minded". We've just seen from experience that getting rid of loose ends in your life frees you up to live more.....freely.
J.J. answers from Dallas on September 17, 2007
I didn't read any of the other responds, but I recommend you go through a CFP. If you would like I can give you my guys info. He was really great and helpful. We went to him cuz a lot of my husband's co-workers go to him. And you dont have to pay them out of your pocket. They dont just help you get an insurance, they'll help you invest the money you make right now as well.
If you plan to do it yourself (i dont know how), here is what he asked us, to help determine our policy amounts. If spouse was to die, how much would we need to pay off our loans (mortgage, car, Student Loan, Other Loans, CC etc plus funeral costs and to have some extra) Once you dont have these monthly bills to pay, you can go looking for a job that'll pay your day to day exp.Hope this helps.
We havent gotten our will together yet. Again, let me know if you need his info.
A.K. answers from Dallas on September 17, 2007
It sounds like you really need the help of a financial planner. It is impossible for anyone to tell you how much life insurance that you will need unless they know more about your financial situation. As far as a will is concerned - hire an attorney to do it! I promise it is worth every penny!