Together you and your Money Group members can help each other answer—and stop avoiding—these wrenching but vital questions about the future.
- Do you have an up-to-date will? If not, why not? ( Jean's take: When I drew up my first will when my son Jake was a baby, like many people I was reluctant. I didn't want to think about anything happening to me because that might imply I wouldn't be around to raise this child. And what parent wants to entertain thoughts like that? But if something terrible did happen to you and your spouse, there could be a long legal battle over who will take care of your children—or worse, no battle and at all and the state will decide what happens to your kids.)
- Who do you want to raise your kids if you and your spouse die at the same time? ( See three tasks for more questions to ask yourself on this topic. )
- What do you want to happen to your possessions when you die? Would you like any of your assets to go to charity? ( Jean's Take: A will is the only way to make your wishes clear.)
- If you have stepchildren, do you want them to inherit your assets?
- If the situation arose, would you want extraordinary measures such as life support and feeding tubes to keep you alive? What about pain management and hospice care?
- Who would you trust to make medical decision on your behalf if you are incapacitated? ( Jean's take: Think carefully here. If you're married or have a partner, that's naturally the first person you will choose. But be sure he or she understands exactly what you want. A very close loved one, in the throes of a critical situation, may have a hard time carrying out a do not resuscitate order. )
- Would you have enough money if you had an accident or serious illness and couldn't work?
- Does long-term care insurance make sense for you or your spouse?
- If you died tomorrow, would your family have enough money to get by? ( Jean's take: Don't jump to the conclusion that because you are a stay-at-home mom you don't need life insurance. The services you provide have value and would cost a lot to replace.)
- Who can help you make some of these important decisions? Your spouse? An estate planning expert? A trusted family member?
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.