Visualize: You're traveling someplace exotic... or even just to Indianapolis on business. Your plane doesn't land, or at least not in a manner consistent with survival. What could and should you have done to prepare for this? The worst case scenario?
How are you protecting your loved ones?
Nothing can protect them from the pain and shock of losing you, but you can explore a few options that will make their choices less complicated in the event of your untimely demise. After all... we're all going to die someday, as much as we hate to face it. Why not do what you can to soften the blow?
Look into the following documents. Prepare what matches your needs, and make sure the people you love know where to locate your documents.
Will It is amazing how many people don't have a will of any type. You can download a simple will for free online.
Advanced Medical Directive Do you want to be kept on life support if there is no brain activity? Who would make that choice if you don't? All you have to do is Google "Terry Schiavo" to see the disastrous consequences of leaving your choices unstated. Caring Connections provides a free one online.
Prepaid funeral and burial expenses Do you know where you want to be buried? Most cemeteries and funeral homes offer prepaid plans with payment plans available. Kiplinger ran a great article about evaluating prepaid plans.
Life Insurance Are your loved ones covered financially? Can they cover your debts and carry on without your income during the transitional period following your passing? Experts recommend carrying 5 times your annual income... more if you have children. How much do you need? Bankrate.com has a handy calculator.
Seriously, do these things. Even if you're not going anywhere. These are important things that adults need to take care of.
Safe travels, friends.