You’ve heard the stories about people getting a windfall of cash when a relative dies — inheriting a house, a prized family possession, or even a million dollars. That’s all because the person who passed had their ducks in row, with a will to dictate what happened when they died.
But have you heard the horror stories? Siblings fighting about where to spread their mother’s ashes, cousins bickering about who gets grandpa’s art collection, and — worst of all— spouses going into debt trying to take care of their children alone.
It all could have been avoided.
Estate lawyers, who write wills for a living (among other important tasks), have seen it all. And in order to avoid any additional devastation to your family, they recommend taking care of your finances now and wrapping it up in your written will. Because once you’re dead, you can’t go back and change it.
Here are five financial moves you should make this week to include in your will. Your loved ones will be so thankful you did.
1. Leave Your Family a $1M Legacy
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? Chances are your checking account balance won’t last forever.
Here’s the thing: You should keep a healthy amount of savings in the bank, but if you want to give your family up to $1 million, use something called term life insurance.
We suggest a company like Bestow. Maybe you’ve considered this before, but thought it was only for rich or older people. But we’re hearing that people are getting it for as little as $8 a month.
You can take advantage of Bestow until you’re 54 years old, but the sooner you take care of this, the cheaper it could be.
You don’t even need to leave your house to get a free quote from Bestow — it takes minutes. Instead of leaving your family with what’s in your checking account and a bucket of worries, they’ll be able to afford the life you’ve always wanted for them.
2. Get Rid of Your Debt
If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape… could you imagine dumping that on your loved ones when you die?
The truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates, and will continue to do so if you leave your debt behind. But a website called AmOne wants to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.99% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.
3. Cut Your Expenses to Avoid Future Debt
It’s always smart to keep your expenses in check, but when you have people who depend on you, it’s especially important. God forbid you leave your partner with monthly expenses they can’t handle on their own.
So now that you’re focused on getting your finances in check in advance, start by taking a look at your unavoidable monthly expenses. We’re nearly certain you’re overpaying on car insurance, for example.
That being said, shopping for car insurance is a pain which is why we like using a free service like Gabi. In just a few minutes you can see if any other companies are offering a cheaper rate with the same coverage and deductibles you already have.
You don’t have to fill out any forms. Just link your existing insurance account and enter your driver’s license, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.
They save customers an average of $961 a year. Plus, after you sign up, Gabi will keep looking for savings and alert you if there’s ever a way to reduce that monthly bill even further.
4. Ensure Your Money Grows by Owning A Piece of a Company
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company. You know their families won’t have any problems — financially, at least — when they die.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.
That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $1.*
That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1. The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account. Subscription plans start at $1 a month.**
5. Have Your Funeral Expenses Covered
The average funeral costs between $7,000 and $12,000 in the U.S. Have you thought about how your family could afford that if you were to die unexpectedly?
Burial costs can devastate your family’s finances if they’re not planned for in advance, which is why now is the best time to plan for it. It’s easily remedied by getting a life insurance policy. Maybe you’re thinking: This is going to be a painful, drawn-out process.
But a life-insurance search engine called LeapLife makes it easy. In less than a minute, LeapLife will match you with personalized quotes from many of the big-time insurance companies (including Pacific Life, Lincoln and Prudential).
And don’t worry about forking over a ton of money. We’ve heard people are getting matched with quotes that are less than what they’d pay for a streaming service (depending on health and other factors).
If you qualify, you might not even need an in-person exam or medical records. You could complete the process entirely online and get your policy in just minutes.
Just answer a few questions, choose the quote that works best for your needs and finalize online in minutes.
*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.
**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.
Codetic is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.