**Full Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Brandfluential on behalf of Genworth Financial. All opinions are my own.
My husband and I had been married about two years when we learned his father, Jim, had colon cancer. It was not news we were ready for – but I am not sure anyone is ever ready for that. Because we live several states away, we couldn’t make/take meals or take him to appointments or help with any of the needs that come with cancer. The only thing we could do was talk over the phone or via video chat.
The next year or so was rough. Jim was much more ill than my husband (or I) knew. We had no idea what kind of planning, if any, was taking place at my in-law’s home. We had didn’t know if Jim had a will or life insurance. From everything I’ve seen, my husband’s family was never very open about money or financial planning.
In April 2007, my husband and I were planning a trip (with 3-year-old James) to visit his parents. Hubs knew this would be the last time he’d see his dad. One night, we got a call from the hubs’ sister. She said Jim was going downhill quickly and we needed to fly up as soon as possible so we booked the first flight for the following morning. When we got through security, my husband received another call – Jim had lost his battle with cancer.
When we arrived in Washington, there were lots and lots of tears. I stayed out of the planning for arrangements as I felt like it wasn’t my place. We were lucky (lucky?) enough to have the vacation time to stay with my mother-in-law for a full month after Jim died.
After the whole experience, I realized that my husband and I need to have open conversations about life insurance often. We need to get better with our planning, but we have at least a little bit under control for now. Every once in awhile, I read articles that can to help us re-evaluate our situation. I found this great video, How to Have the Life Insurance Conversation With Your Partner, which made some really great points.
I don’t think my mother-in-law knew about it, but Jim left behind a life insurance policy. She definitely needed it, so it’s a good thing the paperwork was found! I am not sure what the life insurance was worth, or if it covered her needs. It’s important to know how much life insurance coverage you (and your spouse) need. Genworth has a handy budget calculator which would have been very helpful in figuring out what the coverage should have been.
Have you (and your spouse) taken the steps to implement life insurance policies?