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7 Things Parents Should Do Now in Case They Were to Die Suddenly

This post is sponsored by on behalf of Nationwide. 

Death is inevitable for all of us and yet sometimes it feels like we live a life that believes it will never happen to us…at least not until we are old and gray. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. 

A few years ago, a friend of mine from my middle school years lost her husband. He died while on the job and left behind his wife and their 4  young children. I was devastated for her and them. I still am. I just can not imagine!

Since he was only in his 30’s (like my husband) and at the time I had 4 young children as well, it really hit home to me. What if that had been my husband or what if it had been me? I realized in that moment we were not prepared if something should happen to one or both of us. We immediately started to make changes in our lives to prepare just in case it happened to our family. 

No one can ever be prepared for the loss of a loved one, especially a parent. However, today I thought I’d share with you some ideas of things you can do to help prepare, should a tragedy like this occur in your own family. 

7 Things parents should do now in case they were to die suddenly

7 Things Parents Should Do Now In Case They Were To Die Suddenly

Take the Pictures

Guys, I know I take a lot of pictures for this blog, but I wasn’t taking nearly enough candid shots. I have been working hard to try to remedy that by taking photos both with my phone and camera whenever I think of it. I get it that sometimes a photo might not look “Instagram worthy” to you — who cares?!

Look, here are my cute kiddos decorating birdhouses (which are going to become fairy houses actually) on a Halloween tablecloth. Halloween – that’s right. It’s August, but that’s our crafting tablecloth. Years down the road I am not going to care that my windows are dirty or that there is a Halloween tablecloth on my table in August — but I’m going to love looking at their sweet faces and remembering this project!

With unlimited ways of storing digital photos online these days, there’s no reason not to take the pictures!

Get IN the Pictures 

The problem is that mom or dad are usually the ones taking the photo. But, if something happened to you, your child would want a photo with you to treasure. Try to take more photos with your kids – with all of them and with them individually. Even if you live until the age of 95, you’ll never regret having more images of you with your kids. Even if your hair is messy, even if you’re broken out, even if you have a stain on your shirt, get IN the pictures with your kids!


Take the Videos

For some reason, I was even worse about taking videos. Then I realized that my kids wouldn’t always have those cute toddler voices and I wouldn’t always look so young. Take lots of videos, of everything. You won’t regret it but you might regret not taking more. 

Write Them a Letter

Write each of your children a letter telling them how much you love them and store it in a safe location. You could also consider writing them a letter for special occasions (like a wedding day). If something would happen to you, this would be treasured by your children forever. 

Write Down Important Info

In our home, my husband tends to take care of paying our bills (thanks Sweetie!). Because of that, he’s the one who knows all of the passwords to our various accounts that we pay online. Water bill, electric, cell phone, mortgage, etc. On the other hand, because I’m home with the kids, I’m the one who takes them to doctor’s appointments, knows where important papers are in our home, etc. 

We made sure that we each wrote down any important passwords, a full list of our monthly bills and where to pay them (since some don’t even send invoices through the mail anymore), etc. That way, if something should happen to one of us, the other will have an easier time making sure the household stays on track.

Even more importantly, this info packet can be used by the children’s’ guardian should something happen to both of us. 

Make a Will

We went for a long time without having a will. Then we realized that we really needed to put it into writing who we would want to take our children should something happen to us. We took care of making a will a few years ago (I used a simple program online to make it and then we took it to our bank and had it notarized) and I felt immediate relief once it was done!

Not only do we keep a copy of it at our home but we made 2 extra copies to give to two different family members so if something did happen to both my husband and me, our will would be easy to locate. 

Get Life Insurance

If you want to leave your family in good financial standing upon your death, then life insurance is a must. I have 5 good reasons why I have life insurance! 

My husband and I signed up for life insurance a few years ago and it really does bring us a sense of comfort. I know that if something were to happen to my husband, I could pay for his funeral, pay off all of our debts and continue to live comfortably in our home with our children without it being an added stress during that time. 

Likewise, I know that if something happened to me, my husband would have enough money to pay off our debts and take time off of work to be with our children during that time. Life insurance is something I never want to to go without. 

Here are some facts about life insurance that you might not realize:

  • Getting the right amount of coverage is less than you might think, in fact, most people expect it to be 3xs what it actually costs according to a LIMRA 2018 Insurance Barometer Study.
  • You can get a term life insurance quote quickly and easily online
  • You may think the policy you have through your employer is enough, and it could be, but employer policies generally only cover one or two times your annual salary. For most people, that won’t cover their needs. Plus, if you change jobs, the policy doesn’t move with you.
  • Life insurance prices tend to go up as you age, so there is no better time than today to lock in a rate for the future.
  • Nationwide works with you one on one to answer your questions, analyze your needs and select an insurance policy that is right for you and your family.

Click here to find out how easy and affordable life insurance through Nationwide can be for your family!

We all want what’s best for our kids. Here’s your chance to be prepared for the unexpected. They’re worth it!

My experience may not be the same as yours.  There is no guarantee of future performance or success.  I was paid for my time and efforts in writing this article.  Financial decisions are personal.  You should check with your financial professional to discuss your specific situation.


Saturday 14th of December 2019

It can be hard to think about the worst case scenarios, but it's important to be prepared! Thanks for sharing this advice.

Ronnell Storie

Friday 13th of December 2019

I had my 1st heart attack at 36. Luckily I was 2 blocks from the hospital. I've lost too many friends and family at too young of ages. I'm guilty of not taking enough pictures and not being in the pictures.

Dana Rodriguez

Wednesday 11th of December 2019

This is really an important post. It is not something a lot of us think about and I love your ideas.

Peggy Nunn

Tuesday 10th of December 2019

These are great ideas. I have been keeping a book of my stories for the grandchildren. Some are about me and some are about their dad.

John Smith

Sunday 8th of December 2019

Good advice--I think most people don't prepare adequately.