Thursday, January 8, 2009


If I could offer any advice to married women, it would be to be prepared in the event that the unfathomable happens-- your husband dies. And by prepared, I mean financially. Planning how you will live after he's gone. Where your income will come from. How to handle the life insurance. No one likes to think about "what if" but the what ifs of life are very real.

After Darrell died I had a will made within weeks. I could hardly sleep at night thinking What If I died, what would happen to my children? Once the will was finished, I told Trace where it was and a basic run down of what it contained in case What If happened. At first he didn't want to listen but I made him. He needed to be prepared.

I received life insurance after Darrell died and it was a blessing and a curse. I had no idea what to do with it. But let me assure you that several financial planners did. I went through THREE financial planners and every single one of them tried to take advantage of me and my situation. And I lost thousands of dollars. If I had been even slightly prepared, I might have stopped some of the bleeding. If nothing else, I have some unbelievable stories for my book. No worries, there will be at least one chapter devoted to Vultures.

Trust me, financial planners weren't the only ones to take advantage of me. Accountants, insurance sales people, attorneys, banks. All I ever heard was how much they "wanted to help me," all the way to the bank that is. My Pollyanna trust in people has turned to cynicism. I realize people need to make a living, but not excessively at my own expense. Examples? How about the accountant who charged me $1000 to come up with a "budget" for my monthly expenses and the "budget" was never even completed? Or the same accountant who made multiple phone calls to my attorney about the trust income tax returns ultimately generating about a 3 page return with literally less than 10 lines filled in yet presented me with a $2000 bill? There's more, believe me there's more. It's sickening how much more.

And now I am at a cross roads, yet again and I would love to say more, but feel I shouldn't at this time. But I worry that it may be my financial ruin. It's times like this, and over the last 3 years, I that I needed Darrell to help me with these decisions but he wasn't there. But maybe he would have been, in some small part, if we had only been more prepared.


Elizabeth M Thompson said...

We have a will and living trust in place. It is due to be updated, but it exists.

What I have seen among my friends is this: either their husbands are super-responsible (maybe even control freaks) who want these details in place. Or they don't want to think about such things at such a young age.

I hope many women heed your warning and get things in order. Now!

Arlene said...

I just want to tell all to, yes, please be prepared. My husband was ill over 2 years ago, due to that and his age, he could not get life insurance, except for an accidental policy....we finally found someone who would insure him, they were due to come out to the house on friday, november 14. He died wednesday, november 12. So...nothing....I don't know if and how I will make it. I just want to warn everyone, do it, no matter how young, no matter how healthy. Its only harder to get as time passes, so do it now....

Denise said...

Arlene, I am so very sorry. I feel terrible complaining when I know that so many others are so much worse off than me. The thing is, we thought we WERE prepared. But I had no clue how to invest the money, how to generate income from it. If we had investigated that part I would have been so much better off then trying to deal with it in the midst of my widow's fog.

If you ever want to email me personally, PLEASE do so!

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Oh, Denise...I'm so sorry. It's absolutely sick that professionals would pray on someone when they need help the most.
I hope, I pray, that everything regarding your financial "crossroads" ends well.

Kristin said...

Although I "feel" prepared in case of need, I know I am truly not. Yes, we may have enough insurance but what do I do with it then? I know my dad would step in and say to do (whatever). But what if he's gone. Or what if it's not what I agree with.

I am the "worst case scenario" kind of person who always panics when my DH is traveling, is late from work, or who does not email during the day like usual. I always think, "what would I do if..."

But you are really living that. Darrell was an amazing husband and daddy. Anything you can pass along to us peons is a gift to us all. And I thank you for it....


txmomx6 said...

I just found this blog through one of your other blogs. My husband died suddenly a year ago and I wrote a post like this one a few months ago.
Just wanted to say hi and thanks for the smiles. I, too, have 6 kids, though mine are 14 and up.
I love reading about and seeing yours.

Lindsey's mom said...

I am so sorry you went through that! We had riders on our policies that we never thought we would use...when or daughter died..we received payment. NOt much but after it was all said and done..with all the different policies (work and private) it was 30K. We had people doing the same thing to us! We could not bring ourselves to invest of "spend" it...I feel safe here...that $$ is how we funded my son's medical tests that followed his sister's death and that is how we brought Lindsey home..we could not think of a better way to bring home the little sister she so very much wanted! Thanks for sharing and allowing all of "us" to share!

Kat said...

Oh Denise, I am so sorry that you were treated that way by supposed "professionals". I am an accountant and am horrified when I see what some other charge for NOTHING and what they actually do to some individuals, whether they are grieving or not. They give the profession a bad name.

I do hope that you have found someone to help you and make suggestions on the future. I hope that the losses were accounted for - and at least used to offset any gains you did have.....or held for future gains.

Sometimes I think it is because we are looked at as a "woman", that we don't have a clue, so others can do what they "want" - but thats when we need to be talked to in straight terms and not taken advantage of.

Ladies, use this as a your "wake up call". Get life insurance if you don't have it, get a living will, and start talking to people about what to do "IF". You can never be completely prepared - but make every attempt to do what you can to be as prepared as you can.

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