Will your beneficiaries benefit like they should?

I’ve often joked with folks about how I plan to live forever — and I’m obviously going to give that my best shot. But, the reality is there is only so much I can do before I leave this world, hopefully on my own terms and in a blaze of glory.

I’m headed off on my honeymoon next week, which involves a rather long plane ride there and back. (For those of you about to tell me I’m stupid for telling everyone I’m leaving my house for a week, please note that we have folks staying there, so you can let it go.)

I’m not a fan of flying. Never really have been. And in today’s world, who knows what might happen or when or how. I’m not looking for trouble, but of course you often find things when you aren’t looking for them, so who knows.

The point of this post isn’t to be morbid or depressing, but to raise an interesting point that I recently stumbled upon and that everyone should think about whether you’re traveling long distances or not. First, if you have people in your life who depend on you and your income, make sure you have life insurance. Second, make sure those people know what to do in the event that they actually need to get to it.

I’ve had life insurance for a long time — started buying it when I became a dad and have paid one company or another ever since then to make sure my kids were going to have some financial protection should something catastrophic happen to me. I was sending my ex-wife my travel itinerary so the kids could keep up with where I’m at, but also in case she needed to get a hold of me in case of emergency.

It then occurred to me that the reverse might be true. What if I need to get information to my family in case of emergency, or worse, death? Outside of seances and Hollywood movies, contacting people from beyond the grave isn’t all that easy. So how would they know what to do in case I don’t make it home?

That’s why I sent a second email to my ex-wife, giving her contact information for my insurance agent and my human resources department at work — both of whom would be involved in distributing my life insurance benefits.

If you’ve been responsible and purchased life insurance in case of your untimely demise, take that next important step and share the contact information with someone. Sure, you have a policy tucked away safely somewhere at home or in a bank safe deposit box. But if you’re not there to get to it, will your beneficiaries benefit like they should?

(Photo courtesy of David H-W via Flickr.)

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