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Learning During a Crisis

There are times in our lives when we should take stock in whether we have prepared for a difficult life altering situation. Reviewing whether your will is updated, is your family protected, do you have a power of attorney in place, do you have enough life insurance to take care of your family and can you access all of your accounts if your spouse is not around?

All of these issues hit me when my husband got sick many years ago. The first emergency hit us when he was suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumor and required immediate surgery. Not knowing the outcome after his brain surgery, I called our attorney to come to the hospital and speak to my husband about creating a power of attorney if anything were to happen.

While in the hospital, I realized that he had always taken care of paying certain bills and I hadn't thought about needing the information to access them. But now I needed that information, and I should have had it all along. So he made a list of all the passwords to all of our accounts for me to be able to take care of whatever needed to be done.

In regards to the power of attorney, luckily I didn't have to use it after that first surgery, but I did need it after his second life brain surgery, less than six months later.

It was after his second surgery that I was thrown into a situation of learning under fire. We discovered that the life insurance policy he had through his work would no longer exist if he went out on disability. When we first got married, I had mentioned to him about getting another supplemental policy to have in place outside of his work, but he didn't think we needed it. When you are young you don't think that about something fatal happening, until it does.

At the time we bought our house, we should have also added a life insurance policy to take care of paying off the mortgage if something were to happen to either one of us. Those are easy protections to put in place, especially when you are young and in good health. If you get sick un-expectantly you can't go back and add a policy or increase your limits.

I also called our attorney back in to make sure our wills were updated. I learned about what going out on disability would look like financially and explored the benefits of social security.

If you haven't reviewed these issues in awhile, you may want to see if what you have in place fits your current life and is your family protected for the long term.

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