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Monday, February 14, 2011

Life Insurance

So... our lives have changed in a million ways.  There are huge differences and... subtle differences.  Here is one - our life insurance. You see - I'm about to bust out some real numbers to give you a sense of what I'm talking about.  When Ray and I had the twins, we knew we needed to put some things into place to protect their future. We took out a life insurance policy as part of that plan. Our life insurance was term - for 20 years - and it was an "either / or" policy.  What this meant was.... If Raymond passed, it would pay $250,000 to me or if I passed it would pay out to Raymond.  Our thinking was.... this would be enough money to pay off all our debt and allow the other parent to continue to work and provide the daily living expenses for the children.  IF something happened to us both - the policy would pay out twice and that should cover our children's needs as they grew up.  This sounds like such a simple plan, right? Well.... now we have to think differently. Now we think in terms of an inheritance.  Before - our plan was to take care of our children's needs... but if something happened to one of us after the term was over - our hope was that we could leave an inheritance - but if not... our children should be able to take care of themselves.
Our lives are different now. Not better or worse - just different. We must provide an inheritance for Alexander. It must be put into a trust for him so he can still qualify for state and government benefits. This fund will be run by executors but will be there to help provide Alexander with the standard of living we expect for all of our children.  What if Alexander loves our house and wants to stay in it? Can we make that wish of his possible? There are so many variances on what could happen in the future - but we plan for all of our children to greatly outlive us. We plan to assist them in any way possible. We are planning for Alexander's future. So.... we are doubling? tripling? our life insurance policy - because it now has a different function. It must provide for our children until they are able to provide for themselves... and for Alexander - this will mean leaving an inheritance for him. It is so weird to say. To think about. I know a lot of my friends are in the same boat. This is just one of the small things we have shifted our perspective on over the last year.


At February 14, 2011 at 8:45 PM , Blogger Kisses4Kaylee said...

We just went this weekend to speak with a lawyer about this very issue, and we felt like he was really trying to take advantage of us financially. I am not sure how much it costs to set up a trust like you speak of, but if what this lawyer (who we are not going to use) quoted us is typical, it only added salt to the wound of knowing that we need to make these special arrangements at all (did that make sense?). The concern is doubled for me because although I have someone who could be trustee of Kaylee's fund, I do not have anyone to actually care for her. I do not think either my brother or my sister-in-law would be able to physically or emotionally commit to caring for her (despite having a blood connection to her), or that they would even want to take on the challenge of Kaylee. This adds enormous stress and fear for me; the idea that she may become a ward of the state and in the care of total strangers or an institution. I am scared beyond belief of ever leaving her behind, and getting these legal steps done is a burden on my conscience. We don't even have a will drawn up (I have an old one from before I remarried). This is an incredibly stressful topic that most parents never have to think about...I envy them (and I look forward to talking with you more about it on the 26th).

At February 14, 2011 at 9:48 PM , Blogger Kristen said...

Laurie... We can definately talk more about what we are doing on the 26th...BUT - I wanted to put this on here because maybe some other moms can tell what they are doing. What we are going to try to do is set up a "community of people" who will make decisions for Alexander. My mom, my dad, Ray's parents, and another couple we are very close to (and close in age to). Our hope - if they can do this - is that if the time ever came that something happened to us - these people would come together and discuss where Alexander would best be. This might be with one of our parents. This might be with someone else. This might be at our house with round-the-clock nursing. (Alexander would qualify).... but it makes a difference how old he is / what his function level is / what his needs are. Our hope is that these people we trust completely will come together and voice opinions and decide together. Eventually - we wish they will pass down their guidance to Andrew and Addison and help them to make decisions about Alexander's care. I do not want to make Alexander seem like a burden for anyone... so I will feel comfortable knowing people who love him will explore all the options available for him at that time. I hope this helps ease your mind. I can give you his name and number on the 26th... we are very happy so far.


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