When my daughter was first born, I was on top of making a will, recording all of my financial information and obligations, and ensuring my father had access to my safety deposit box where everything was kept.
However, things change. Life changes. What I recorded in my original will is so outdated after just eight years, and I have been “meaning” to update my last will and testament for almost five years now.
It is so easy to just let time slip by us and think that nothing bad is going to happen before we have a chance to prepare for it. The unfortunate truth is that we never know how long we have, and when we are mothers, the last thing we would want is for our significant others/family and dependents to be left with a huge mess to clean up. Additionally, a lot of us are working moms, and we have to think how our households would be affected if our income suddenly was no longer there.
I recently had a really bad car accident, through no fault of my own, and the car was totaled. It was one of the scariest few moments (then hours and days) of my life. Thankfully, I walked away from it alive. I couldn’t help thinking, “What if I hadn’t made it? Where would my family be without me?“ It was a wake-up call to get all my paperwork in order again.
Here is a list of what I prepared when I first became a mother and what I am working to update now (this is just my sharing from personal experience; this is by no means meant to be taken as legal advice):
- A Living Will
- A Power of Attorney
- A Last Will & Testament
- A Safety Deposit Box to Keep All this Paperwork
- A List of All Accounts with Financial Institutions
- A List of All Relevant Logins
- A List of All Life Insurance Policies
- Details on All Health Insurance Information
- Instructions to a Family Member of Where the Safety Deposit Box is Located
If you don’t have the funds to spare on creating legal documents, I recommend using Rocket Lawyer online. It is very easy to use and walks you through all the steps quickly. You can get a free 7-Day Trial Period with access to the legal documents you need to create, and you can cancel at any time – even the same day you create your account. I used them eight years ago, and I just used them again now after the accident.
If anything happened to us, our families will have a hard enough time just dealing with our loss, let alone be faced with the challenges that could come if we weren’t prepared for the unexpected. Live life to the fullest but be as prepared as you can for all the things life may throw at you.