11 Hard Topics You Need to Discuss with Your Husband Before Death
There are some conversations that I tend to want to avoid. The one with myself about my time management. The one with my children about their desire to move out. And the biggest one- the one with my husband about the “what ifs” should he die before me.
Honestly, I avoid that last conversation every time it comes up. I start crying at the thought of this life event and want to push it away.
However, over the past few years, I have watched friends go through this “what if” scenario in real life. Some older than me and, surprisingly, some younger than me.
It’s a conversation that needs to take place, whether we want it to or not. Life happens. Death happens. We need to prepare as much as possible. This has to be one of the most emotionally difficult events in life to walk through. Not having to wade through tasks and questions that can be answered ahead of time only makes sense.
1. Life-saving measures- What does he desire/not desire? Be sure to have a living will.
2. Personal items- Is there something in particular he wants to bequeath to someone?
3. Passwords- We live in an Internet filled age. So much of life is online. Be sure you are able to access your husband’s e-mail account(s), social media sites, as well as online banking and other financial sites.
4. Final wishes- Burial or cremation? If burial, where does he wish to be interred? If cremation, what to do with his ashes? Any preference for a service? Any special music to play? Any stories to be shared? Is there anyone in particular he wants to be notified of his death?
5. Organ donation- Yes or no? If yes, are there any organs “off limits?”
6. Legal documents- Vehicle titles, insurance policies, bank accounts, loans, investments, etc. Even utilities should be in both of your names. I know from my husband’s grandmother’s death that the transference of those items is much easier (and less expensive) if the spouse’s (or bequeathed’s) name is on all of those documents. If it is, it’s just a matter of presenting a death certificate to the official to remove the deceased’s name and transfer ownership. Without this, there are legal steps to be taken, which take both time and money.
7. Names of helpers- If your husband takes care of getting repairs done, be sure there is a list of those repairmen. Vehicle maintenance, plumber, electrician, HVAC technician, etc. We have a small farm, so there are more concerns for me to consider. Who will haul the cows for us? Who will deliver hay? Who will help me sort through and sell machinery and tools? Who can be trusted with these tasks?
8. Legal documents- Will, living will, power of attorney, etc. Be sure to update these documents as needed to reflect your wishes.
Our family in Nov 2014, photo taken by the very talented Niki of NTG Photography
9. Underage children- One thing that my widowed friends mentioned many times was that they wished their husband had left behind mementos for their children. Letters, videos, notes, etc. While your husband may not be terminally ill, he can pen a note to each of his children to be tucked away and given to them later. What a treasure this will be to them when he’s gone.
10. Insurance- What policies do you have? Where is the paperwork stored? Do you have life insurance? Do you have enough life insurance? Did you know that you can visit the Aflac® website and use their life insurance calculator to help determine if you are fully covered?
Aflac is supplemental insurance. Life insurance can help provide your surviving loved ones with financial protection when it’s needed most. Benefits can be used to help cover immediate expenses such as funeral arrangements, everyday living expenses, and long-term obligations. In talking with my widowed friends, I was surprised to find out that there is only a $255 surviving spouse benefit paid. Funerals, obituaries, and such cost FAR more than that small amount. Being prepared financially will alleviate a huge burden at a very difficult time, as well as help to provide for your surviving family long-term.
Everyone needs to have life insurance. Even as a stay-at-home Mama, I have life insurance. While it wouldn’t be used as my husband’s would be used to replace his income, it would help to provide for the new needs my family would have without me here.
● New and middle-career employees: Regardless of what age you are or how seasoned you are in your professional career, any employees who have children or who have made a significant purchase such as a home should consider supplemental life insurance.
● Employees approaching retirement: Longer tenures often mean higher income, which likely means a higher standard of living. Purchasing a life insurance policy could mean helping those left behind maintain that same lifestyle they’ve come to enjoy.
11. And the really hard questions that I don’t want to face:
What will life look like without your husband? Can you afford to remain living in your current home? What changes will need to be made in your lifestyle? How will you take care of your home and children? Do you have a support system to help you navigate the new waters of life?
I know this is a hard topic to talk about, but it’s so very necessary to do so. Once you’ve worked through these topics, be sure that your life insurance needs are taken care of. If you need more information about Aflac’s life insurance to be sure you have enough coverage, use the Aflac calculator. You can also ask the human resources manager at your job (or your husband’s) which Aflac supplemental insurance policies are available to you.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. In New
York, coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
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