Planning for a Death: Things to Do Ahead of Time

There are certain things in life that no one wants to think about, much less plan for.  I can’t say that I’m counting down the days to my next dentist appointment.  Surely most of us don’t look forward to Mondays.  But, we all know that dentist appointments and Mondays are always coming, and the more prepared we are for them the smoother they tend to go and the better the results.

What about death?  No one wants to think about their death or the death of a loved one.  However, we are all eventually forced to face our own mortality.  The better prepared we are, the smoother and less painful these events can be for us and our loved ones.

Life insurance is a key component in planning for the future of our loved ones and ourselves.  I would like to share a short checklist of items we all need to keep in mind as we use life insurance to plan for a death.

Understand how the policy works: Not all life insurance policies work the same way.  Some policies are term life insurance policies, meaning that they only last for a set period of time.  Others can have death benefit values that can increase or decrease depending on different factors, such as how the markets are doing.   Some may even have riders that affect how the policy works.  Study your policy.  Make sure you know what it covers and what it doesn’t.  Look for information on how it works once you or your loved one passes away.  Help the beneficiaries understand how the policies work.  Speaking of…

Know who is a beneficiary, and update if necessary: Every life insurance policy has one or more designated beneficiaries that are assigned by the policy holder.  The beneficiaries are the ones that receive the death payout once the insured passes away, and thus are important in the whole process.  Check to see who is listed as beneficiaries on the policy.  Make sure their information is correct and up-to-date.  If necessary, the owner of the policy can make changes to their information, or even change the beneficiary to someone else.  Make sure these beneficiaries have a copy of the policy.  As with anything related to a policy, always feel free to reach out to the agent for any questions.

Keep your policy active: This is probably pretty obvious, but is extremely important: make sure the policy is kept active and paid current!  Many policies have a grace period for if the payments are running a little late, but passing that puts you at risk of have the policy lapse.  Once something like that happens, reinstating it can result in the premiums going up and having to go through the underwriting process all over again.  Sometimes, depending on the situation, the policy may be lost forever.  Imagine thinking that your loved one had life insurance coverage, only to find out they let it lapse long ago and now you have to come up with funeral funds yourself.  No one wants to do this to those we care about, so don’t.

Following these tips can help make the process so much smoother and less painful when the time comes.  I know it’s hard, but we all need to plan for our deaths and the deaths of our loved.  I would encourage everyone to listen to these tips and prepare for the inevitable.

…also, stop putting off the dentist…

Blog written by: Andrew Jordan, Creative Marketing Specialist II for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Do I Need Life Insurance If I Am Single?

Life insurance is a wonderful thing.  It can serve as the perfect safety net for when an unexpected tragedy hits both a family and its finances.  Instead of having to pay for a funeral, living expenses, and more while losing a significant portion of your income, you can rely on the insurance policy your spouse took out.

But since I am single, I don’t need to worry about life insurance, right?

This is a common misconception that many singles have about life insurance.  They believe that it is designed for spouses and families and see no value in it for them.  However, life insurance is not just designed for married couples, but for all of us.  There are many benefits to life insurance for singles, just like there are for everyone.  Let’s break them down.

To start, take a look at the most obvious point: just because you are single now, that does not mean that you will always be single.  Many people reach a point in their lives where they meet someone, get married and start a family.  At this point your family becomes your responsibility.  Part of that responsibility is making sure that they are taken care of in the event that you die.  Thus, life insurance.

But there are those that choose to be single for their entire lives.  What about them?  Well, regardless of your marital situation, your mortality remains.  At some point in the future we all pass away.  Someone will have to pay for our final expenses, whether family, friends, or whoever.  I would not want to leave them with a massive bill without providing them a way to pay for it.

Let’s step away from being so morbid for a minute and assume our expiration date is somewhere in the distant future.  Even so, as we advance in age, our health is most likely to decline.  The two biggest factors in your life insurance premiums are age and health, meaning that if we start a life insurance policy while we are younger and healthier, our premiums will be significantly less than if we wait until these factors are already a large problem.

Think about this, too: just because we do not have a special someone in our lives does not mean we do not have financial responsibilities to others.  Maybe Mom and Dad will need someone to provide for them as they go up in years.  Maybe we enter into a business venture with a friend or business partner.  What happens to these people if we leave this world sooner than anticipated?  Life insurance can help mitigate the damage.

Life insurance is a powerful tool for all of us, whether young or old, single or not.  Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that it is only for certain people in certain conditions.  It can benefit all of us, regardless of our circumstances!

Blog written by: Andrew Jordan, Creative Marketing Specialist II for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Planning for Your Future

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect upon the year that just passed and to plan for the year ahead. For most people, these plans are related to finances, health and family. These may seem like three different matters, but for many people all three are interwoven and each one plays a role in the total outcome. Sentinel Security Life offers products that address all three aspects of your family’s well-being. You need to ask yourself, will your family be able to afford all the expenses if you were suddenly not around to provide for them? This is a daunting but necessary question to ask when planning for your family’s future.

Sentinel Security Life offers several products including Life InsuranceMedicare Supplemental InsuranceHospital Advantage and Annuities. Our focus is to provide you with the options that can address your family’s finances, health and overall security. Our products can provide you with the peace-of-mind that you are seeking.

After reviewing our products, it is important that you find a qualified and licensed professional that can assist you in selecting a policy that will meet your family’s needs. Sentinel Security Life has many licensed agents in your area, and are able to answer any questions you might have. For additional information on any of our products, please visit us at www.sslco.com or call 800.247.1423.

Blog written by: Thy Mims, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.