What do you mean my family has to wait for money from my life insurance?!

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Did you know that if you don’t name a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, your family might not have access to those funds for months or even years?  The funds will be added to your estate and governed by your will.  You don’t have a will?  That’s a discussion for another day. Make sure you understand who, when, why and how, you need to make sure you name beneficiaries on your insurance policy.

Estate Planning

One of the very few guarantees in life is that we WILL die. Some day. What is your exit strategy? Man thinkingPlanning what happens to your estate and how is one of the most loving things you can do.  Do you love your family enough to have monies and direction in place? When you have copious amounts of money, you may not need insurance but you do need to leave direction. That is the purpose of your will. Your will is your voice after you die. This is where you tell your family about who you want to receive that special portrait, the home or the car. Make sure you are clear about any conditions regarding shared bequests like the family cottage and what happens if there are disagreements. They will happen. Even in death, failing to plan is planning to fail. Do you want a government appointee to be paid part of your estate every year until it’s disposed of?  That’s less for your family and good luck getting things done in a timely manner when you are relying on someone you never met and has no vested interest in resolution. They get paid for the their time.

Life Insurance

man holding umbrella with word insuranceWe have many reasons for life insurance:

  • Pay the mortgage.
  • Ensure our family had funds for funeral and ongoing costs.
  • Leave money to a favourite charity.
  • Cover cost for our partner to take some time off to grieve and get started again.

Some have coverage at work that might at least cover burial costs and a little extra. Of course, you lose that when you leave the job. Get your life insurance as early as you can to lock your cost in.  If you buy whole life or universal life insurance when you are young, the cost will be more consistent. Term insurance is really intended for shorter term coverage. This really needs to be discussed with your financial and risk management advisors. That’s great, you have insurance. Now, who gets it when?

Naming Beneficiaries

Barry's family and link to LegalShield family plan.You need to name beneficiaries to ensure your assets go where you want them. Start with your life insurance. This ensures money gets where it needs to almost immediately.  Your life insurance will usually deliver a cheque within a couple of weeks of your death. Your partner can pay the mortgage bills and meet their day to day financial needs. Counselling can be expensive and don’t you want them to have what they need?

If you don’t name beneficiaries in your insurance, it will pay to your estate and then be directed by your will. How long will that take?! Consider your beneficiaries carefully. Even more important, think about who you will ask to be executor. Do they have the time and resources? Should you consider leaving money directly to them for time they may need to take off work? Now do you see why they call it estate planning?

No one can anticipate your personal thoughts and desires. You need to tell them what you want to happen and how. Will you leave that last love letter? Don’t hesitate to call your legal service provider to clarify questions when preparing your Will and Power of Attorney questionnaires. The more questions you ask, the better the will they can prepare for you.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my #LegalSavingsPlan, for the time and what I learned when I was a financial consultant, and that we can offer the opportunity for you to offer an affordable way for people to get their will done!

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