Setting up wills, life insurance and college funds0
Planning for their futures is one of the best ways we can keep our kids safe! We think of protecting our kids as keeping them safe, but planning for their futures is one of the best ways we can look out for them… setting up college funds, purchasing life insurance and creating a will.
We started our children’s college funds when they were born. We put money into it each month and hope that by the time they are applying to schools, there will be enough to at least buy a text book! It is important to research the different options and benefits when you are setting up a college fund since some have more flexibility than others.
We set up our first insurance policy when I was pregnant. We found that it is important to update policies every few year relative to your income, your children’s ages, etc. Because there are so many options, it is a good idea to talk to your insurance representative to figure out what is best for your family. Some things to think about include your parameters of age, term and premium. You can ask a few insurers to give you the illustration benefits and then compare the maturity fund values. Also check out the other features of plans that give higher values and see how flexible they are. Finally, take a look at how the insurer has managed equity investments over longer periods, examine the returns and then decide. It is not easy to put money aside for the future when most people could use the funds right now, however it is so important to be proactive.
Setting up a will and deciding who you would choose as guardians if you were to die is another proactive way to protect your children. None of us want to think of anything happening that would take us away from our children, however if we do not make decisions about our children, then the courts get to decide what is best for them. A year ago we finally sat down with an estate lawyer to set up a living trust when I was told that the napkin I had written our will on when we were driving to the airport probably would not be considered a legal document. Take the time to sit with your spouse and figure out how best to plan for your child’s future.
Some things to consider when narrowing your choices include: Who has a good relationship with your child(ren)? Where do they live (proximity of their home to yours)? Do they share your values? How is their age and health? Are there other children in the house? How do they feel about being named guardians? How are they fixed financially? The most important thing is that your child(ren) is left to a loving, caring environment.
Get input from family and friends that you trust and respect. These are not easy topics but think of it as a gift to your child and an investment in their future.