Usually, it is parents who think about purchasing life insurance policies. They want to leave something behind that will help their kids financially. While this is well and good, the problem is that many parents opt to purchase life insurance when their children are still small. Since anything could happen from the time the insurance policy is purchased to the time you pass away, you may want to plan ahead for unusual circumstances.
When Your Children Are Minors
Most parents do not expect to pass away when their children are still minors. While that is the expectation, it is not always the reality. Hard as it may be to imagine not being around to see your children grow up, you do have to plan ahead for this situation. Who is going to be the guardian of the money you leave to your children? What if you name your spouse and then the two of you divorce right before you die? There are a lot of "ifs" to consider, but you want to cover all of your bases if you expect your children to receive the benefits of your life insurance policy.
Talk to an Estate Lawyer
Talking to an estate lawyer will help you draw up the accompanying paperwork you need to establish ground rules for life insurance benefits. Most life insurance companies have to follow the rules and regulations established by law, so your own ground rules must also be in accordance with the law. That is something you cannot expect to do alone; hence, a discussion with an estate lawyer.
If This, Then That
Every scenario you can draw up in your head has to be addressed with regards to your life insurance benefits and your children. For the most part, you have to think of it as a "if this, then that" type of exercise.
- IF both you and your spouse pass away, THEN another previously chosen guardian of the trust account for the benefits for you children has to take over.
- IF you get a divorce, and the divorce is not amicable, THEN you know exactly who has to replace your ex-spouse as guardian of the money placed in a trust by the life insurance company.
- IF only one child survives a terrible accident that takes you and the rest of the family, THEN the life insurance benefits should be given all to that child.
This is just a sample, but these arrangements are absolutely necessary in the unforeseen event that you pass away before your children have reached adulthood.