“10 Things You Need to Do Before You Die”

On January 1, 2016 my father kept his appointment with the only assignment each of us has to turn in at the end of our lifetime.  Though he suffered little pain, as one member family put it, “He really hadn’t been living for a number of years.”

No one really likes to talk about death.  And who blames them?  But because of that it isn’t surprising that few people ever plan around this major assignment that we all have to complete before we get out of this life.   Being more pragmatic about this straightforward assignment will make it much easier, and so here we go.

The following are things that you need to contemplate and put in order before your time has come when you are required to turn-in your assignment.

  1. Draw up your Will and keep it updated at least every two years or whenever someone involved in the Will gets; married, divorced, dies, moves or has a child.
  2. Consider a Living Revocable Trust to protect your assets and loved ones from probate and unnecessary legal expenses.
  3. Write a Medical Directive and keep it updated at least every two years.
  4. Purchase a whole life insurance policy that will cover your final expenses. This can be as simple as purchasing a paid up burial policy from the Funeral Home, or when other assets are at risk a more substantial whole life insurance policy from Life Benefits.
  5. Keep your legal and financial matters up to date, and have a temporary Guardianship provision in place if you should ever be in a position not to be able keep up with your legal and financial matters.
  6. Make sure you have a Durable Power of Attorney that will take care of your best interests should you not be able to do so.
  7. Have all your medical, health care and health insurance documents and files in order and in a specific place if your Guardian or Power of Attorney should need to access them without your assistance.
  8. Make sure all your family members and friends that you love have copies or at least knowledge of your Will, Trust, Power of Attorney and Guardianship documents.
  9. Take advantage of Life Benefits’ complementary document review service where a team of attorneys reviews the documents listed above and notifies you of any red flags that those documents may contain or any inconsistencies within the documents. (It’s amazing what some attorneys will put together. We recently saw documents prepared by an attorney stating that the beneficiary of the life insurance policy was to be changed to be the insured of the policy. That doesn’t make sense. How do you pay a dead person? And to think someone was paying to have that document drawn up. You deserve better than that.)
  10. Enjoy life to the fullest knowing that you have done everything you can possibly do to make the day of your assignment easier for those you love and care for by taking care of what you can do before that day arrives.

There are other important documents that you should have in force if you own a business, if you are a partner in a business or if you are a stockholder in a business.  But these are the fundamental necessities to have in place before you no longer have the opportunity to do so.

My own parents balked at putting these documents together for years.  In fact, it was only after a major accident nearly twenty years ago that they even seriously considered them. But it wasn’t until 3 years ago when a drastic change in their health status motivated them enough to proceed and get all their documents in order.

Despondently, it was too late for them to take care of one of the most important parts of this entire assignment.  And that was the purchase of adequate life insurance to financially take care of my mother when my Dad passed.  Now my mother is stuck with only $680 a month from her Social Security Benefits check to live on for the rest of her life.  Fortunately for her, she has children that will help her make up the difference in what she will need to survive.  But you shouldn’t count on that as my mother had 6 children and only 3 are in a position to provide that assistance for her.  How much better would it have been for my Dad to have been insured with enough insurance that my mom could now know she could live in comfort without feeling she is beholden to others for the rest of her life. Not that her children feel that way, but she certainly does.

The good news for you is that the sooner you begin planning for this assignment, the less the life insurance portion of the assignment will cost.  So regardless if you have all or none of the above 10 essentials, give us a call at 702-660-7000, we can help. We have access to the best of legal counsel to help you with the legal documents and we will provide you with the best life insurance purchase experience in the world.  Life is too short to put it off any longer.

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