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How many times have we heard about families combing through paperwork, moving from drawer to drawer, and file to file looking for insurance documents? We know that Big Mama has burial insurance, but no one knows just where she placed it. Sister worked, but she also had additional insurance policies, but the family isn’t quite sure where to begin the search. This dilemma proves more common than not. It’s sad! A good number of people who die don’t know they’re going to die. Family must cope with the loss and the burden of preparing for a fitting homegoing without the assistance of allotted insurance funds.  

Why won’t a good number of families discuss preparing for burial and funeral arrangements? What’s the big deal? What’s the fear? Why are so many squeamish when it comes to discussing these inevitable events? Just because we refuse to talk about it doesn’t make the subject disappear. If we neglect to address how to prepare for our own burial and funeral, someone else must figure it out. Suppose we disregard the importance of informing someone where to locate our financial documentation to cover our final transition cost. In that case, we burden our families with either pooling their own resources or seeking out the benevolence of a community collection pot. And let’s say the one thing you did share: “I want to be buried on a hillside facing the sun.” or “Invite all my friends and family for a high-praise celebration.” When your loved ones attempt to fulfill your wishes, anxiety surfaces since they have no policy to pay for it. Why? They either don’t know where to locate the policy or know that a policy exists. In either case, it’s distressing. 

And here’s the kicker, someone finds your policy months later while packing up paperwork. Of course, they’ll more than likely get reimbursed, but nothing turns back the clock on the stressful moments while trying to prepare a proper farewell for you. If a policy gets located, that’s fortunate; however, many families question the whereabouts of their loved ones’ policies for years to come. It goes something like this: “I know Daddy had a policy, but I don’t know where he hid it.” Families struggle with this grave reality far too much. 

Not only must we intentionally delegate someone with the task of knowing where to locate our policy, but we must also ensure that our policy doesn’t expire. Sometimes we may have a policy, and we may have instructed the family on where to retrieve the policy, but it’s no longer current, or it’s the kind of policy that terms out or reduces in value each month/quarter after the maturation date. The shock that families experience when they learn that the dollar amount on the policy isn’t worth its face value. Ergo, they’re working with less money than they thought. Again, that’s stressful. 

So, what are we to do? Be strong. Be brave. Be prepared. Have that conversation, regardless, how uncomfortable you may find it. You’re not alone in this venture. I must also have this conversation. I, too, need to inform my family where to locate policies and such. I’m discovering so much about living life, leaving this life, and preparing for the afterlife while writing these weekly blogs. It’s incredible.

 

Let’s ensure that all our going-home matters are handled and communicated clearly to those who will need this vital information once we depart this earth and our human tabernacle.

In T.D. Jakes voice, “Get ready. Get ready. Get ready.”  

Live long, prepare, and prosper.

 

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