Where's Margie's Money?

Putting it down on paper

The fact that DH and I will soon have a child has really made us stop and think for the first time about what would happen if either one of us – or BOTH! – were to pass away.  I really hate thinking about this stuff – I don’t want to picture a world without DH in it and it makes me sad to think that there is a possibility that something could happen to me where I wouldn’t be able to see my daughter grow up.  But, it’s important to consider the “what if’s” and plan for them especially now that there is a little human that is depending on us to make smart decisions and provide for her well-being!

I have to really thank my dad for helping us figure out what we need to do.  My dad is Mr. Frugal and also very savvy when it comes to being prepared for the worst case scenario in any situation (ask him about his car trunk emergency kit!  He’s very proud of it.  Also, this is the man who loves to give Christmas gifts like flashlights and emergency flares).  With his help, DH and I have drawn up a few legal documents that every parent should have:

We each created a will that names guardianship of our daughter if both of us should pass away.  We named my older sister as our first choice and my older brother as the second choice.  That was a pretty easy decision.  My sister is married with two kids – she has a very stable life and loving home environment and I know she would treat our kid(s) as her own.  If something seriously goes awry and SHE passes away as well (maybe we’re all on the same plane that goes down?), my brother is our second choice.  My bro and I are closer in age and closer in terms of our relationship (we talk more frequently and have a lot more in common) but he’s’ unmarried and very work focused right now.  It would be a MAJOR lifestyle shift for him to take responsiblity of our child but he would definitely do it, no questions asked.  My brother was a better option than DH’s brother who is basically a 30 something play boy.  He would have NO idea what to do with a baby/child.  In fact, he’d probably use her to pick up chicks or something.

Our will also names my dad and step-mom as short-term/temporary guardians.  This was important because both my sister and brother live more than a few hours away but my folks live 30 minutes from me. This will allow my dad to pick up and take care of our child until either one of my siblings can come and get her. 

Another document we’ve created is a Medical Authorization/Power of Attorney which gives permission for my dad and step-mom to make medical decisions on our behalf about our child in case they are baby-sitting and something happens where medical decisions need to be made right away and/or they are traveling with her (to Disneyland or wherever) without us and something comes up.

Basically, we just have to wait until the little one is born and we can have these documents notorized – then we’ll send copies to everyone involved.

Another thing that we have done is add each other as beneficiaries on each other’s checking accounts/retirement accounts/insurance policies, etc.  This might seem like a no brainer but I didn’t automatically do this when we got married (lazy!).

Finally, one last document I pulled together in preperation for labor is an Advanced Healthcare Directive which basically communicates my wishes about my care and health if for some reason I’m unable to make those decisions on my own.  The likely hood that something awful happening to me in chidbirth so very very VERY minimal but things do happen!  I’ve designated my husband as the person to make these decisions on my behalf and he knows my wishes in terms of being put on life support or not depending on the odds of my recovery, quality of life, etc.  If DH isn’t available or incapacitated to make these decisions for me, my sister will step in.

Now the only thing I need to do is have us sit down and write out the passwords to all of our important online accounts so that he can access my online bank account, my Facebook page, my e-mail account, etc. 

It feels good to be prepared for the very worst case scenario – I hate thinking about it but you never know what could happen.  Better safe than sorry, right?


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  1. * Kez says:

    It’s a hard thing to think about, but I think you’re being very sensible. I never thought about the slim likelihood of something happening to me during childbirth or something. Maybe I should have that chat with my husband.

    Ha, like you the last person I would give my child to (upon my death) would be my brother in law!!! My brother on the other hand, would be amazing and my parents would be so helpful to him if they are around should the worst happen.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 10 months ago

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