Preparing for the unexpected (death, divorce, a sudden change in life) - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-03-2015, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Preparing for the unexpected (death, divorce, a sudden change in life)

Okay the title sounds horrible. It isn't meant to be. Just in the last 6mos two friends of mine have experienced both. Friend One's husband past away after a brief bout of cancer and Friend Two's husband filed for divorce very out of the blue.

Not getting into details of my friends various situations but they situations themselves have left me to wonder what ifs... Both are homeschooling mothers (like me), Neither of them worked outside of the home beyond a side etsy/craft/hobby (like me), neither of them have family in the area (like me).

What are some ways to 'plan' for this event beyond the normal life insurance on a spouse. I'm talking practical planning too.
Emergency cash supply (how much?)
Having a copy of all financial records (I don't even think I know the bank account number, I do know the balance roughly).
Stuff like that. Yes I've been living a very pollyana life and I believe I have a good marriage. I do have a degree, I have worked in my field, I do volunteer in my field to keep my credentials up. I could find a job to support myself and two daughters.

Pax, loving wife since 2001, Mother of DD1 (12) and DD2 (8 1/2). Entering our 5th year of Homeschooling: Eclectic mix of curriculum and child interest lead. Backyard urban chicken chasers.

Last edited by Paxjourney; Yesterday at 09:06 AM. Reason: Title change and grammar errors
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Old Yesterday, 05:35 AM
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All adults in a family should have a good understanding of the household finances, access to all accounts, an updated knowledge of pension and retirement accounts and insurance policies and know where everything is located. Even if one person is handling the finances, a couple of times of year there should be a review. An updated will should be in existence. In addition, both should have an individual credit history and their own checking account, even if it is very rarely used. Original documents such as birth certificates, insurance policies, vehicle titles, mortgage information, etc. should be in a safe deposit box. I think it would be better for both parties to have the information in their own safe deposits, ideally with duplicate originals (with seals, etc.). I personally believe that both spouses should have some money in their own accounts, perhaps half the emergency fund as it develops should be in each account.

These steps will really help in case of divorce or death when accounts can suddenly and unexpectedly be unaccessible at a most critical time. In addition, there are sure to be times of illness or injury, a home fire or even just a household emergency such as a tree hitting the house when one party is away on a business trip. It would probably be preferable to use the accident/illness scenario to convince a spouse that balks. In the event of divorce (which can and often does hit without apparent warning), or a house fire, copies of family pictures and other personal things should also be stored in a safe deposit box. My husband did not like to give access so when the mail came in, I copied things. Divorce did come and I was able to verify amounts and insurance policies etc. because I had copies of everything in a safe deposit box. In addition, I did not have to worry about losing all access to family pictures, as I had all negatives and/or cds stored.

I also think that all account information, cell phone numbers, address history, family history, medical histories, etc. should be stored in a binder. And phone numbers of trusted professionals: lawyer, doctor, even a good plumber or electrician. It is also nice to have any funeral wishes in there. If everything is in one place (in the home as a safe deposit box would not be accessible to any adults that come in to care for your children in case of an emergency), life will be much easier for you, your spouse, and your kids and other family in case of any kind of an emergency. Older kids should know where this information is located so they can share it if the information is ever needed.

Having been through medical emergencies and death and divorce in the last few years, I did find that it was very helpful to have this stuff.
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Old Today, 09:43 AM
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I need to square away a few things as well. For me, my ex and i have life insurance policies on each other. Right now if something were to happen to either DP or I we would be mutually screwed so to speak. I just had a talk with dp about this very subject and right now I have techinically more financial assets though not much (small ira, savings in my account and a car paid in cash). I have also discussed with my ex leaving dp my car and access to any cash in my bank account (currently it is TOD to my ex) which is not an issue with anyone but I still have to change my TOD , but if dp were to pass i would be in a lot of trouble financially. We will eventually get life insurance policies on each other in the near future.

I recently gave DP a couple of my family members phone numbers, (he had none!) and I got a couple more numbers from him. I plan to get everything organized because have medical issues of late has made me think I better get this stuff straightened out!

Keep in mind that in the event of death sahm's usually will be getting some social security for the minor children in the marriage but having a savings account with access for both parties is definitely a good idea. You really need to have account info or at least access to the financial information. Is it a joint account or not? You should be added if not.

No one likes to think about this but it happens to the best of us. We are all mortal and affairs should be in order especially with children involved.

When my mom passed the funeral home did not need cash up front because they have a way to arrange their charges to come directly out of the life insurance that was left to my sister. We paid just under 8000 for her funeral and burial, her headstone was another 2000 and that was over 10 years ago. I think at the very least having a policy to cover funeral expenses and 6 months of living expenses (in life insurance or savings) would be ideal. Life insurance is not instananeous. It took us about 6-8 weeks to receive life insurance for my mom.

SAHM to DS 8, DSD 6, DD 3 and DSD 3. Happily in love with my Superman!
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