Post # 1
So we’ve had a few deaths in our extended family over the last few months (great aunts, distant cousins) and apparently it has gotten my mom thinking about how me and DH are now adults and we should be thinking about what happens when one of us kicks the bucket. I’ve already been researching life insurance policies, but I had not really thought about looking into pre-planning our funerals and such. Has anyone else out there talked about this kind of thing? My mom and dad pre-planned and paid for everything so my sister and I did not have to worry about it when they ultimately pass away. I think it is a good idea, but it still freaks me out a little.
Post # 3
My husband I have discussed it and I have a policy through work but I would like to take out $500k on each of us. We now own a home and I wouldn’t want the other one to lose the house if something happened and also down the road when we have children it’s good to have a little bit of a safety net if faced with a tragedy. But I will agree that it’s morbid to think about.
Post # 4
We both have life ins. policies thru work, but haven’t discussed funerals at all. That will be a tricky thing for us, since my hubby is Indian and will want to be cremated and he wouldn’t be buried in a cemetary as I would be. This is so strange to be typing about myself being buried someday! Anyway, since our situation is more unique, I guess we’ll have to talk about it at some point, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Definately not going to be a ‘fun’ discussion.
Post # 5
Both FI and I have life insurance policies through work as well as personal life insurance policies should we decide to change jobs. Since we both own homes, we also sprung for the mortgage insurance that pays off the remaining balance of the mortgage in the event that either he or I pass away. I have a 13 year old, and I have maintained life insurance on her and he has maintained life insurance on his two boys…although they are technically adults now. It just made sense to get it all taken care of while we are healthy so we won’t have to think about it.
I will say that the sooner you get it and the healthier you are, the cheaper it will be. Because of the amount of insurance I purchased for myself, I had to do a complete physical along with blood work in order to be approved. It’s definitely something you should take care of sooner rather than later.
Post # 6
I currently have a life insurance policy and we will be adding one for my husband, but we haven’t pre planned anything else. We do want to write up our wills soon though.
Post # 7
I agree that the life insurance on both parties is a good idea to go ahead and take care of; I also agree that discussing things like living wills (pull the plug vs. don’t) type thing is a good idea. But planning the funeral…like I want a pink satin lined cherry wood coffin type thing is odd.
The only time I’ve heard of something like that being done is when someone is close to death. My parents and step parents did this while my sister was in rejection and it made things easier during the death and funeral planning process. But I’ve also heard that the immediate family arranging all the funeral situations is a greaving process and should be allowed to happen the way it should.
Post # 8
It’s a really good idea to look at life insurance now. Be sure to shop around and don’t just go with the first broker you meet with. Do your research and have an idea of how much you really need and what kind you want so that you don’t succumb to a pushy broker.
Pre-paying for funerals etc is not a good financial idea. There are several articles about this on consumerist.com (which is owned by Consumer Reports) here: http://consumerist.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&limit=20&search=funeral+trust
The only reason I could see to buy a funeral plot now is if your family has several generations buried in a single cemetery, and you want to secure a place in the same area. Otherwise, who knows where you will be living (and want to be buried) in 50+ years? What if you and your kids all move to Siberia and you want to be buried close to your Siberian grandkids? Then you’d have to worry about selling your old plots, probably at a loss.
Post # 9
My fiance gets VERY weirded out by the legal and financial tasks related to getting married. For example, we don’t have a pre-nup (we didn’t have enough assets going into marriage to consider it too seriously) but I am insisting on updating all of our insurance info, deeds, and living wills after the wedding. I might as well handle all the paperwork while I’m changing my name instead of wishing I had done it later on. When I suggested life insurance, he said not until we have kids – and I pointed out that if either of us were to die at a young age, kids or not we would be in serious financial trouble with our house.
I would certainly set aside money in the event of my passing away – but I don’t think I would prepay for anything funeral/cremation related. In our part of the country, there are all these creepy radio ads being aired about prepaid cremation services as a ‘save the earth’ thing. I’m also so turned off by the idea that you could prepay for something only to have the company go out of business.
Post # 10
Kind of related – I have a folder of paperwork that I gave to my good friend who will be dog sitting for us during the honeymoon. A few years ago, my cat became very ill while I was in another state for work and not having those details in place was horrible. My roommate couldn’t afford the vet bills, I spent three days on the phone trying to figure out if my kitty would make it, and ultimately came home and put her down that same day.
The doggie sitter file has signed letters and information on what to do if our dog was sick, along with a credit card authorization in the event they had to pay a bill. In the letter, there are specific details of what should happen if he were to need to be euthanized. It might sound awful, but on my honeymoon I would NEVER want to be called and told my dog was gone.
I know it’s morbid but trust me, it would have saved my sanity and that of my roommate if I had known what to do back then. 🙁
Post # 11
My Gram passed away last week so there has been lots of talk about my parents funerals. Everyone on my dads side has life insurance because my grandfather worked for New York Life but FH does not. My gram had a book with EVERYTHING she wanted which i think made it easier for my uncle & dad.
I hate to think about stuff like that tho it just makes me sad thinking about FH or my parents passing away!
Edit- I just saw a PP about how pre-paying for furnerals & plots isnt good $ wise but I have to say its 10000000 times good for the family members and if you have the money why not make it easier for your loved ones.
Post # 12
I have grown up in life insurance as my father sells it, and I spent years working there. Here are a few suggestions.
Have a will. I cannot stress this enough. Have a will. If there are children involved. Make sure you have letters explaining why you want your children to go to certain people and not others. You have to be brutal. If you are gone a judge doesn’t know you or you family nor do they know your problems with certain family members. No one will ever see these letters unless you pass.
Don’t prepay for funerals. Funeral homes have forms to fill out stating that they are to receive a check directly from the life insurance companies before they pay the benificiaries.
Ask your lendor about morgage insurance. Ours pays off the balance of the loan if something happens to one of us, the one he had with his ex did not. Only if they both passed.
For life insurance, I recomment twice your combined yearly income added to any outstanding debts (at least).
Write down your funeral preferrances. Families have different customs and religous practices. It will save alot of problems later.
Make sure you have a power of attorney in reserve somewhere. If something happens to you, you want your spouce to be able to take care of the details.
Post # 13
@tksjewelry: That’s a really helpful post, thanks! I hadn’t ever thought about life insurance going directly to the funeral home first, among other things you mentioned.
Post # 14
@Piccateer: it is a lil bit eery, but it is the BEST TIME to get life insurance now!!! it’s the cheapest that you’ll ever be able to get whole-life insurance coverage…
i’ve had a whole-life ins policy that’s good for around 70k right now that i only pay $50/month. DH has a ridiculous amount of life insurance between what his parents purchased for him way back when… plus wholife and term-life that he purchased for himself.
your parents did a good job and you should follow in their planning footsteps! don’t think about what it implies, but just as another “to-do” in the steps of preparing for furture 🙂
Post # 15
Ok, for me, I think as a married couple life insurance is a must. You never know what tomorrow may bring and it will bring a piece of mind should something happen. I know some people say, well I make enough money to support myself and pay my own way. Thats not the point. Your spouse may have things that need to be resolved and for us, if one of us passed we wanted the other to pay off the mortgage on our home that we built togethor so that there was no worry. Plus in the future it would be put into savings or a trust for any children we may have.
I disagree with the statement that prepaid funerals are a bad investment. My grandmother passed away in August and she had a prepaid funeral, as she wished to be creamated. She paid the funeral home in 1990. What they did was give her an estimate what it would cost then to have the service, flowers, cremation etc (in 1990) and she paid them then. The funeral home then puts that money in a bank cd and it earns interest over the years. Well 20 years later, the cost of services for a funeral more than went up 5x that cost. However, our out of pocket expense was close to nothing bc of her prearrangement. I know it sounds morbid to some but it will be a peace of mind to your family. We will probably look into it down the road.
Post # 16
Absolutely. Having planned my mom’s funeral last year, I’m more comfortable dealing with these “unpleasant” matters. I know that he prefers to be cremated, we talk openly about it.
I think pre-planned funerals are great in case of those who are uninsured or if you do know you will continue to live in the same area and want to be buried where the plot is. I just went with a GF of mine a few weeks ago to put down on her fathers funeral (he’s sickly, in rehab – we don’t know if he has a few months or years, but way wait until it happens to worry about it).
After going thru a horrible emotional time trying to pull my mothers funeral together without insurance, I know I’ll never put my kids through that. I don’t think its morbid to discuss your preferences of where or how to buried. I’m a realist, we all have an end date, why not be prepared for it. I think its important to for spouses and children to be insured. Every family member should be.