(Sorry for the stupid title)
Preparing for what may happen if one or both parents die is a bit like making sure your computer is properly backed up (sorry, computing analogy). It's something you don't even want to think about, so you avoid doing anything about it. Superstitiously, you don't want it to happen, so you think that if you don't think about it happening, that will mean it can't happen (reference to falling and Hitchhiker's Guide here).
What have you done to prepare for these eventualities?
Thanks for the answers so far. Part of the reason for asking this question is to try and motivate myself to do 'something', so keep 'em coming!
For the benefit of all answerers, I insert here one time for all the mandatory disclaimer:
I had a great plan to get everything organized before I gave birth . . . and then I went into preterm labor ;) I think this question has a lot of good things to consider.
Here's what we've specifically been working on:
answered 07 Jan '10, 15:35
We got our wills done in late 2007. Two different law firms here in Massachusetts stressed the importance of the following five documents, which we had drawn up.
I apologize if I misrepresent the purpose of these documents. I am not a lawyer, and your mileage may vary depending on where you live.
answered 08 Jan '10, 03:56
We got a Will drawn up after at least one of our children was born (I forget exactly how long it took us to get round to it).
We used Will Aid, where you can get a basic Will drawn up by a solicitor who has offered to do it for free, in return for you donating to the Will Aid charities. It looks like it's closed at the moment though, and "Will Aid will run again in November 2010" for those in the UK wishing to take advantage of the scheme.
We each left our entire estates to the other (I think!), but we had to consider the possibility we might both die at the same time (in a car accident, perhaps). We therefore had to think of who would look after the children, as well as what would happen to our assets.
One thing we were advised is not to put, "I leave my money to my (currently only) child X", but instead, "I leave my money to be divided equally between all such children as I may have at the time I die," as this means you don't have to alter it if and when more children come along.
answered 08 Jan '10, 13:49