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Widow urges others to finalize wills before it's too late

Many people realize the importance of planning ahead for the worst-case scenario. Whether or not people actually make plans for a worst-case scenario event is another matter. One woman, who is now a single mother, understands first-hand the difficulties that can arise when an unimaginable event happens and those important plans are not in place.

This woman's husband was killed in a bicycle accident several years ago. Her husband was in the intensive care unit at the hospital for a few days before he died. She explains that during this time she realized how many of the plans she and her husband had started making were incomplete.

For instance, the couple had drafted their wills, but since they were not signed, resolving the details laid out in her husband's will was much more complicated than if the will had been signed. In addition, this woman realized after the accident that she was not sure what their insurance policies covered, how much they had in their savings account, and how to access accounts for which her husband had memorized the passwords.

Thinking about these important financial details in the midst of a tragic accident like this could overwhelm many people. This woman now realizes the importance of having details planned out and having plans finalized, even if both spouses are in fine health. She encourages everyone to make a plan, regardless of age or financial status.

According to a recent survey, more than 50 percent of American adults do not have a will in place. Drafting a will and signing it could save one's family a lot of time, stress, and money in the event of an accident or illness. When it comes to wills, over-planning will most likely not hurt. Rather, being prepared for the worst-case scenario could save a significant amount of time and money.

Source: The New York Times, "A shocking death, a financial lesson and help for others," Ron Lieber, Jan. 11, 2013

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