December 28, 2016: Advanced Adulting for Parents – Life Insurance

No one wants to spend time thinking about their own demise, so let’s make this quick… šŸ˜‰

A couple of months ago we decided to up our life insurance policies beyond their basic minimums for next year. It’s been something I’ve been putting off for a while and I’ve even tried getting a few quotes, but I have no idea what’s reasonable and what’s just trying to rip me off, so it waited until open enrollment came around and the rates that my employer-provided insurance offers for supplemental insurance were considerably more reasonable.

Apparently that was the easy part, though.

Today I realized that we also need to update beneficiary forms because we’re adding a policy for Sara, too …Ā no sense inĀ meĀ being the only one with a bounty on my head …Ā and that’s where it started to raise some sticky questions because while the primary beneficiary (my wife) is easy, there’s another space on the form forĀ contingent beneficiariesĀ and I’m admittedly struggling now with how to proceed from here…

Because I can’t very well just put our kids – I mean,Ā Christopher is two years-old –Ā what’s a toddler going to do with a check for $300,000 besides binge purchase every choo-choo he can find like a railroad tycoon while he contemplates what happened to his parents?!


It’s led me to wonder how many parents have ever actually sat down and had the conversation about who would take care of their children if both were to pass away suddenly like in a car accident or something. It’s dreadful to think about,Ā but it happensĀ and from what I can tell if the parentsĀ haven’tĀ left explicit instructions, even with loving and supportive relatives it gets kicked to the courts to make the decision which can be timely and also very expensive.

This leads to more questions about once we identifyĀ that person,Ā do we makeĀ themĀ the second beneficiary or do we create some sort of Living Trust where the money is earmarked for the kids’ wellbeingĀ and suddenly the whole thing is a lot more complicated than just writing a name down on a form!!!

And it’s scary to think that we’re at the point in our lives when we actually need to think about wills and trusts and life insurance, for that matter, but the truth of the matter is thatĀ now we’ve got three kidsĀ and just like choosing to buy the insurance in the first place in case even one of us unexpectedly passes away, it’s the responsible thing to do to consider the worst case scenario and take the time to ensure that our children will be taken care of in the event of the unlikely.

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like it’s going to beĀ a quick solutionĀ because first we need to identify everything and have those conversations and get our own ducks in a row, then take said ducks to an attorney and have them write up something a bit more legally binding than this blog post, but as absolutely terrifying as it may be to even think about this stuff, I just have to keep telling myself that my kids are worth it.

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