Preparing for the unthinkable.

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Follow this list to bulletproof your affairs just in case you die young.

 

No one likes to think about dying prematurely but as you approach your 40’s almost everyone has experienced the loss of a young friend or loved one.  It’s hard to consider that it might happen to you but it’s crucial to prepare plans in the unlikely event that it does, especially if you have children living at home.  The Wall Street Journal recently consulted with estate planning lawyers to create a checklist to outline the necessary steps to follow to prepare your finances and family in case you should die in your 30’s or 40’s:

1. Buy insurance: Life insurance ensures that if a spouse should die young their partner could stop working or downshift careers to take care of the children. Buying renewable term insurance is best when you’re young and have no underwriting risks.  Long term care insurance is expensive but crucial as people are living longer.

2. Write a will: Depending on the state if you don’t have a will it can take weeks or months for an estate to make its way through probate court to appoint an executor to handle your remaining financial affairs.

3. Choose beneficiaries:  Name a primary and secondary beneficiary so your accounts can be transferred to them without going through probate.

4. Set up a health care proxy:  this assigns one person over the age of 18 to take care of your medical decisions should you become incapacitated.

5. Sign a living will:  This will lay out end-of-life care plans and organ donation preferences.

6. Name a guardian or two: If you have children under the age of 18 it’s essential to have you (and your  spouse if you have one) name a primary and secondary guardian in case you both die prematurely.

7. Organize your documents: survivors should have access to a files that lays out all of your insurance and financial information, deed to your home and cemetery plot, a list of household expenses on auto-pay, and the key to your safety deposit box in one central location.

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