The Financial Loss of a Life

by Kristina on May 2, 2011 · 7 comments

Last Monday I lost my step brother in a tragic and fatal car accident, he was only 34 years old.   It was my step brother’s turn to go out and pick up lunch for his co workers; he was killed in a car accident on his way back to work from his lunch break.  I am sure that when my step brother ate breakfast on Monday morning, he never thought that it would be his last meal.  When my Mom told me the news I couldn’t help but think about what I was doing on Monday during my lunch break.  Although we do our best to plan for unforeseen emergencies, sometimes we just can’t be fully prepared for the unpredictable.

In the world of finance we always want to protect our assets, accumulate our wealth, and provide for our families.  However, we have to realise that death is not only a financial loss; it’s the loss of a life. I am sure that my step brother didn’t expect his drive to the local lunch spot on Monday to be his last lunch break for the rest of his life.  I am also sure that his wife and two daughters never predicted that their husband and father wouldn’t be home for dinner on Monday night.

We can do our best to provide an income for our loved ones after we are gone with life insurance, and we can do our best to leave our final legacy behind by drafting a Will and keeping it up to date; but we can never fully be prepared for the unexpected loss of a life.  Think about someone you know with a family; are they financially prepared if they suddenly lost their primary source of income?

It is easy to be prepared for the financial loss that occurs with a death, we can draft a Will and keep it up to date, and we can ensure our assets are protected with insurance.  What we cannot be prepared for is the tragedy and sorrow that comes with the loss of a life.

My step brother’s wife will now be mortgage free thanks to their homeowners life insurance policy, and his two daughters will now be able to attend college debt free thanks to his life insurance proceeds.  However, I am sure that his wife would rather make a mortgage payment and sleep next to her husband every night.  I am sure that his daughters would give back their college tuition to have their father at their college graduation.

I know that it may seem morbid to talk about our last wishes, funeral arrangements, and financial legacy upon death; however, it has to be done. My mother and step father made funeral arrangements based on what they thought my step brother would want.  But the truth is, they were not one hundred percent sure.

Surviving family members are so preoccupied while grieving the loss of a life that funeral arrangements and flower arrangements are the last thing on their minds.  However the truth is that both funeral arrangements and financial arrangements have to be made.

We can make the tragedy a little bit easier on our surviving family members if we take precautions and prepare our final funeral arrangements. The cost of a funeral including burial or cremation as well as transportation of the body is approximately$10,000.  I have clients who have already prepaid for their funeral as well as their headstone to lighten the financial burden on their family upon death.

Even if someone has very little financial assets, it is still important to draft a Will and keep it up to date.  Last wishes and funeral arrangements are an important part of our last Will and testament.  A funeral leaves a personal legacy the same way that a Will leaves a financial legacy.  We will always be remembered by our funeral because that is the last time our family will ever see us.



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Frugalapolis May 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

sorry for your loss.

2 Kristina May 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Thank you very much Frugalapolis. It has definitely been very hard.

3 Kelly May 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm

So sorry for your loss. It does make you realize the importance of being prepared, at least financially for an unexpected loss! While it will not provide his wife and children any comfort that they are mortgage free and have college paid for them, it would have been a huge stress for them if they did not have that.

4 Sandy @ yesiamcheap May 3, 2011 at 2:36 am

I am so, so very sorry for the loss of your step-brother. It’s amazing that at our ages we never really think about something like this happening, but all it takes it going out for lunch. This is a very important article that I hope we all embrace.

5 Donna Freedman May 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm

My sympathies to your family for such a shocking and terrible loss.
I hope that your article inspires readers to get their own financial houses in order — at such a time, who wants to have to ask, “Did your spouse have life insurance? Do you know what kind of service s/he wanted?” and all the other immediate, essential questions.

6 Steph/seenonflickr May 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

I am so sorry for your loss.

7 sophia February 27, 2012 at 3:01 am

People don’t generally look forward to getting life insurance but it doesn’t have to be a terrible or excruciating process. Unfortunately, while death is the most unpleasant of subjects, it is also the one certainty we all face.

We all hope we can leave this life on our own terms but should the unimaginable happen, life insurance can help cushion death’s blow and ease the burden left on surviving loved ones. In this way, you can rest assured with peace-of-mind that your family members will be provided for after you’re gone.

When shopping for a life insurance policy, you will quickly find there are many different policies from which to choose. Different insurance companies often offer rates that differ greatly and it pays to shop carefully for the lowest premiums, excellent customer service, and a strong financial reputation. Know all truths about life insurance before you buy only at Carfinance.Org!

I recommend it because Carfinance.org streamlines the decision process and gives you a library of life insurance information designed to help you avoid mistakes and have a reasonable grasp on how life insurance functions.

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