Sorry for no post last week. As some of you know, my wife and I have had our hands full. Two Mondays ago, there was a fire at our house. Luckily we weren’t living in it yet, but it was still traumatic. Good news, no one was hurt and the fire did not spread to any of our neighbors’ houses. Bad news, pretty much half of the house is gone.
When it cam time to write this week’s blog, it reminded me of an illustration I had seen by Norman Rockwell when his Artist Studio burned down.
From the writings and illustrations he made of the event it’s clear that as tragic as it was, it could have been much worse. That’s the reaction my wife and I had to it. Things can be replaced, but people can’t.
I pondered what I could focus on this week, and thought,well, how about what’s going on in my life right now. Part of the reason this wasn’t as big as a catastrophe is we have insurance on our property. The Insurance agency has been great. We carry a low deductible on this as well. I started thinking about how so many people don’t.
When it comes to Insurance, you have to look at what are your covering (house, car, accident/liability, etc). Next who will you use for your insurance. When we were dealing with the fire and the inspections afterwards, we felt good about our Insurance agency as everyone was telling us they were great, compared to other companies. We’ve felt that having a little bit more insurance coverage is worthwhile. What are you willing to pay for coverage of your assets or personal property? If say some calamity happens what should your deductible be?
Coincidentally, while this happened we were finishing up drafting our personal estate and our personal life insurance. I mean, the big what if. This could have happened when were living there and heaven forbid something could have happened to us and our belongings.
Life Insurance. Well, I just signed my policy this week. So if anything befalls to me, my wife is covered. This is a huge stress relieve. Now, I know she won’t have to worry about money if I am no longer with us. That means the house is taken care of, as is my burial, etc. I know this stuff sounds a little macabre. But you don’t want to leave your loved one dealing with these issues when they are dealing with their grief. Now for life insurance, you can choose term or whole life. They both have their ups and downs. You should research them and see which one works best for you and your situation. One thing to consider is you can mix and match these. It doesn’t have to be an “either or” situation.
Estate Planning. This is a little larger of scenario. Basically, you are wrapping up all of your assets and outlining what happens to them when you die. The upside to this is to avoid probate. If you haven’t made a trust, a will or legal document your house and items could get trapped in the legal system for awhile and end up costing your loved ones money and delaying their access to it, again during a time of grief.
In short, you are looking to encapsulate your assets and personal property from damage/harm with insurance, then when something befalls you, your life insurance and estate trust then protects your loved ones. And makes sure your estate is handled exactly how you would have wanted it to be. It really pays to be prepared. I know all of us feel that this day is far, far in the future, but you really never know when it could befall us. We feel much better to have finally dealt with these loose threads.