Marguerite has been saving and is planning to go on a vacation to Puerto Vallarta with her fiancé. She is making the brave decision to leave one teenage son and one adult son at home for the first time without her. She knows she’ll be thinking of what they are doing at home while she is away! She loves her boys, and before she leaves, she has a list of things she wants to do. Marguerite is nervous about flying and being far away, she wants to make sure her children are cared for if the unthinkable happens. Some people may feel comfortable leaving an emergency contact number and some cash for food, but Marguerite knows that leaving important documents with family members will help ease her mind as well.
See a lawyer, or if you need something basic, there are websites like LegalZoom, RocketLawyer, or SmartLegalForms. Make sure to include in your will someone you want to designate as guardian for your children. These websites may not cover complicated issues you may have (such as owning a business or multiple properties).
There are multiple steps with this task, but the broad scope is that this person will carry out items outlined in your will; your last wishes, with utmost honesty and diligence.
With this document, you can appoint someone to manage certain financial or business matters while you are away. It can be revoked at any time by notifying - in writing - the proper individuals, financial institutions, and/or the County Clerk’s office, and retrieving all copies of the document.
Talk to a Western Fraternal Life agent! You want to make sure your children are financially covered so they won’t worry about where they will live, or if they can go to college.
Avoid naming minors as beneficiaries to your life insurance. First, Western cannot pay the benefit to a minor. Second, in addition to possible legal issues and a delay of payment, it may be best to leave financial matters to an older age. Review your specific legal agreements regarding custody or guardianship.
Establishing a beneficiary on your life insurance is not the same as establishing guardianship, and a beneficiary may not be legally bound to use money for the children. To restrict the use of funds, consider setting up a trust fund and setting the fund as your beneficiary.
Get the whole family taken care of at once! By beginning life insurance programs for your children now, you can provide them with a benefit that will continue to grow as they do. To qualify for college scholarships with Western, children must be a member in good standing for two years.
Write a letter stating your consent that your children’s caregiver can authorize medical treatment for the children. Make sure the caregiver knows she should still contact you with any medical issue or emergency. Put it somewhere with easy access, such as the refrigerator.
Organize your bills, finances, and personal information into a master file. Include your financial accounts with names of companies, account numbers, and passwords. You will also need health records of your children, including medication, car information, home purchase papers or deeds, vet records, and insurance policies of all types: medical, homeowners, life, etc.
Once all of these things are in place for Marguerite’s boys, she can breathe a sigh of relief knowing she has taken every precaution for their safety and future. She can start looking forward to her vacation with peace of mind, and her children will feel protected too. She might even relax enough to have a margarita on the beach.
ACS, FLMI, Member Programs Assistant
Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.