How To Help Your Family Prepare For Your Passing Financially and Legally
Pondering one’s own mortality isn’t something that anyone likes to do, but it’s important to have these conversations as early as possible. Not just for your own sake, but also for that of your family. The passing of an immediate family member is a time of not only emotional upheaval but heavy financial and logistical changes as well. While there may be no way to completely prepare your family for your passing emotionally, there are tools and resources in place to handle these other areas.
In general, what you are beginning to do here is the process of estate planning. Many people fall into the mistake of thinking that estate planning is only for the rich and famous—perhaps seeing the high-profile fallout of celebrities who passed on without a will. However, anyone with even a small amount of assets should have their estate in place, especially if they have things like valuable heirlooms or a small business.
The best way to start formulating a will is taking a full inventory of physical and non-physical items, as well as reviewing your retirement accounts to make sure there is a designated beneficiary. Sit down with an attorney to get the official will written and you’ll be able to relax knowing your assets will go just where you planned. In some cases, the will is the primary way that you are going to take care of your family financially, especially if you no longer have any dependents.
There are other ways you can help your family prepare. For example, if you know your spouse is going to benefit from your will or another policy in the event of your passing, it’s a good idea to help them be in the best long-term position to use that money. This is why it’s a good idea to try and look into financial advisors and professionals early. There are many different resources out there, but it’s easier to know who you want to go to in advance, rather than trying to making a decision in the time after someone passes away.
Finally, you want to consider looking into life insurance. This is extremely important if you are a parent to younger children and don’t want to put them in a financial crunch should you pass suddenly. A good fit for people in this situation is term-life insurance. This can run from 10, 20, or 30 years – basically however long you need before your children are no longer dependent on you financially.
As federal employees, while you aren’t automatically covered for everything, you do have a bit of a leg up in terms of your life insurance options at least. The bulk of federal employees have FEGLI as their standard option which offers some protection for your family; however, depending on your own financial plans and concerns, you may want to look into an alternative with Secure Choice. Our FEGLI alternative plan has a fixed premium with no medical exam needed, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. In addition, you will be covered up to age 100, as opposed to up until you retire.