Disclaimer: For those of you new to my site, my Mom passed away June 23rd, 2008. She left behind a husband at 62, her Mom at 92, 4 children, 4 Grandchildren and many friends. I am slowly dealing with the situation but have found myself in the role of sole caregiver for and power of attorney for both my Father and Grandmother. It's a mess and so am I.

Take a moment to think about everything you do for your family. Typically we undervalue our worth any time we are asked by saying "I'm just a Mom" so I ask you to think about all those roles you have in any given day ~ again.
For many the list looks something like this: Wife, Mother, Caregiver, Chef, Financial Officer, Maid, Household Manager, decorator, taxi, educational advisor etc.

Now think about how much it would cost to hire someone to do those jobs if you were gone? Would you or your husband be able to handle each of those roles alone in addition to working 40+ hours a week if the other should pass away before retirement?

Now take a moment to think about life insurance.
Do you have a policy?
Is it a individual policy or a joint policy?
If it's an individual policy, how much are you worth according to the policy?
Does your individual policy come close to how much it would cost to hire someone to do all the jobs you listed earlier?
If it's a joint policy do you realize both parties would have to pass before it can be collected on? How would that help you in you time of need if you were the survivor?

As you can already guess, Mom was grossly under-insured and the situation has left my Father upside down with funeral costs one year before retirement.

I know this is a difficult conversation to have with your husband (wife) but it's a conversation you can not afford not to have ... today.
89 Responses
  1. Insane Mama Says:

    You are so right, everybody needs to have the "conversation" I recently had to organize my grandma's funeral so I know far too well the costs.

  2. Teri Says:

    Thank you so much for reminding us to take care of things when we have the opportunity. Try to take each day as it comes. Take care.

  3. I just stumbled on your blog tonight and wanted to say that I am sorry for the loss of your mom. A best friend of my husband and I's grandfather passed a few days ago, so loss is on my mind.

  4. Caroline Says:

    None of this is easy. When my step-father passed he left my Mom in huge dept, un-paid taxes and NO life insurance! We had to take my Mom in and deal with a mess that was so un-necessary. I vowed to never do that to my kids or family.

    Nonetheless, your blog reminds me to live in the moment (something I am struggling with). Thanks for posting!

  5. Tiffany Says:

    This is such a needed post. We were just talking about upping my insurance, as, in a strange way, I am actually the breadwinner. We own the company together, but he couldn't/wouldn't run it without me.

    So many people don't consider that while "mom" may not actually derive an income, what she does would cost tons in the workplace.

    And, insurance of not that expensive if you are relatively healthy.

    If there is anything you can think of that I can do to help, don't hesitate to ask.

  6. Ann Says:

    I'm so proud of you.
    You are helping us by reminding us to take care of each other. To take care of our families.

    I hope that you are finding time to be still. And that you are getting all the love you need.
    I'll check in tomorrow.

  7. Jaci Says:

    That's a good point. Not only could I not afford to pay for everything that Kevin does, but lots of times I don't appreciate everything he does. Lots of times I take him for granted.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I hope everything is going well for you.

  8. Lynette Says:

    This is a conversation that my husband and I DO have...when someone passes away, then as soon as we have the conversation, we sadly move on...it's something we NEED to sit down and finish, you know?

  9. Heather Says:

    First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss, and I hope you and your family are doing all right in this difficult time.

    My husband and I became parents through adoption, and as part of that process we had to get life insurance, make out wills, designate a guardian "just in case" etc. I am constantly amazed at how many of our friends - even our family members who have children - do not even have life insurance, much less a will.

    Yes, it is not a pleasant or easy conversation to have, but it really does need to be done.

    (Also not pleasant? The nurse that was sent to our house to take blood and weigh us for the life insurance - I hate needles and I hate scales - and then to have the insurance agent tell my hubby on the phone "gee, you know if your wife could drop just five pounds, her premium would go down..." *pbbbt*)

    Hope you're hanging in there.

  10. wendy Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss; you sound like an amazing woman.

  11. Katy Lin Says:

    wow. thank you for sending us this much-needed reminder even in the midst of your pain. what a selfless gesture. thanks again.

  12. I know in my family it seems no one wants to really think about that...and it's a shame the cost and additional stress it can put on a family already feeling pain.

  13. Jen Says:

    You are right. It is something that people but on the back burner but should be made a front priority.
    I am so sorry about your loss. I can't imagine what you are going through. My heart aches for you.

  14. Party of 5 Says:

    Many SITS love on its way.

    This blog was so true. I am sorry for your loss. Chef and I have spoken about buying a plot when we finally move to a location we wish to live in (we're military)

  15. Debbie Says:

    Wow. I am so sorry for you loss. She died so young. This was a great message because we just don't think about these things until it is too late. It just seems like it will never happen.

    I hope that you enjoy your SITS queen of the day and that you get lots of comment love!

  16. Angie's Spot Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss and thanks for the reminder of not forgetting what we're leaving behind. I'm visiting from SITS today. :-)

  17. I am so sorry for your loss and I admire your thoughts of others at such a terrible time. I also admire your willingness to jump in and help out where you are needed. Congrats on your day!

  18. Amy Says:

    Visiting from SITS....I too lost my mom last year and it is very hard. The only difference is, we knew she would be leaving us and her and my dad had everything figured out, paid for, etc.

    Best wishes to you!

  19. I am so sorry for your loss.

    This is really important advice. My husband and I recently reviewed and updated our insurance and it was a lot simpler process than I imagined it was going to be.

  20. Melanie Says:

    My husbands family was left with the same situation back in April when his mom died and it was a mess. Her living will was a joke too. It's not enough to just have one, it has to be specific. This is a great reminder for everyone.

  21. I'm so sorry for your lost. My husband has life insurance on him from his job -- but not me -- so maybe we need to look in to that -- I take care of everything around the house -- My husband had to do everything while I was down after my surgery and he would just ask me how do you do it all. So, I just pray nothing every happens to me -- I always tell him I hope I'm the last to go. God Bless -- I will keep you in my prayers

  22. 5 Under 5 Says:

    Sorry for your loss, congrats on your SITS nod!

  23. Kathi Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a great post about life insurance. You are so right.....these are the things we need to do.

  24. EmmaP Says:

    It's a hard topic to broach sometimes, but you're right. we need to have those conversations, and get our affairs in order...
    may each passing day and each dearest memory sustain you through your trials and your loss. God Bless!

  25. Crazy Momma Says:


    This is never something you want to think about but I am so glad you brought it up.

    I am going to start looking into life insurance right now. I am worth too much to my children and my family to leave them with nothing but the best!

    I am sorry for your loss but I thank you for posting this. It is something incredibly important that too many of us push aside!

  26. Came over from SITS and I am sorry to hear about your Mom. What you posted though is very helpful in bringing home another aspect of losing someone, one we don't think about often enough. Thanks for the reality check. Prayers coming your way!

  27. Jess @MCC Says:

    Sorry for your loss, HUGS from a SITS'TA.

  28. Half-Past Kissin' Time Says:

    First, I'm sorry you lost your mom. Really, really sorry. Second, I can relate to losing someone who had not prepared; it SUCKS having all of that business fall in your lap, especially when you are in the middle of grieving. I would add this piece of advice to yours: HAVE A WILL made!!

  29. mrsbear0309 Says:

    I'm so sorry. You pose some very important questions, most of us typically want to avoid because we think it can't happen to us. I wish you much strength.

  30. Rhea Says:

    I'm so sorry you lost your mom, and that you have all this added responsibility of taking care of your dad and grandmother.

    I can't even imagine how tough this all must be!!

  31. Sonya Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! What a sad way to be reminded that we need to look out for ourselves!

    I hope things get easier for you soon!

    Take Care!

  32. Thank you for this post. It is a hard conversation to have and one I have been trying to have for a year now. I have to make it top on my priority list!

    Congrats on being featured at SITS

  33. Smoochiefrog Says:

    I came over from SITS. Congrats on being SITS girl of the day.

    I got myself life insurance last year. I'm glad I finally did.

    Thanks for getting this message out. It really is an important thing that people need to think about and get into place.

  34. Perez Family Spot Says:

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your mother.

  35. Kimberly Says:

    I'm so sorry about your mom. My condolences.

    Your advice truly is right on the nose. You don't realize how important this stuff is until you have to deal with it. I'm not a mom or a wife, but I found myself in a caregiver position when I was the only relative living near my grandmother when her husband died. Its a really hard situation to be in...much harder than having a conversation in the first place.

  36. MomMega Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss...this is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately and I know that my and the Hubs have to talk about it (I DO NOT want my son to end up with my MIL), so thank you for the kick in the behind...

  37. EmBee Says:

    How difficult it is to measure ones worth. I've always preferred not to think about it, knowing there's not enough money to in the world to replace anyone in the family. I understand though the devastation it can bring about if proper financial planning isn't attended to. Thanks for making us conscience of it. So sorry for your family's loss.

  38. Congrate on being Saucy.
    I am so sorry for your loss and all that you are having to deal with. I appreciate you sharing this post. Especially in these financial times, everyone needs to think about this. It is not a fun topic, but so important.

  39. Amy Says:

    First, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. And you are right, we often think- " I have lots of time for that"..I have used those words and we NEVER know when God will call us home to be with Him.

  40. Adiel Says:

    Wow. This is some tough stuff. I hope that my parents don't have to deal with it anytime soon, but I've told them all that I don't want any sort of funeral or fancy stuff. Unless of course they want or need it. I want the bare bones minimum that it takes to get me buried. I hope to never have to leave this situation behind. I hope that everything works out for you and your loved ones.

  41. jennifer Says:

    Yes indeed. No truer words have been spoken. Must have a conversation about these things this evening with Hubby.

  42. Lula! Says:

    You are so brave for addressing this subject, especially at such a tender time in your life. I admire you--and appreciated this post!

  43. Tinabean Says:

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom.
    This is a very good post for you to bring everyones attention to insurance & funeral cost matters.
    I lost a husband 4 years ago to cancer he was the one in charge of all the insurances etc.
    I didn't really care to take that on myself & he told me everything was taken care of.
    If he were to die I would be taken care of, the house would be paid off, the truck & the car would get paid off & the 5th wheel also.
    I believed him why wouldn't I?
    Why would he lie about that?
    Well I lost everything & had to start over with my 2 kids.
    Also he didn't have any life insurance & they wouldn't let me claim his Social Security so I was pretty much screwed.
    We as women need to make sure that we're taken care of have the conversation but also be involved see the proof make 100 % sure because it's not fun to loose your loved one & everything else on top of it.
    Thank you for bringing this matter up.

  44. Swirl Girl Says:

    My dad passed away in January. thank goodness my mom (his wife of 50 years) has a good head on hers shoulders and is independent to take care of herself.

    The 'event' made me think about lots of things that you mention here.

  45. Kelly Says:

    I also, would like to extend my condolences to your incredible loss...Thank you for the reality check of what should be in place for all of us!

  46. Karol Says:

    This is a conversation my husband and I have never had. We really need to. God bless you and your family.

  47. Karen Says:

    Here from SITS.

    I'm so sorry that you lost your Mum and yes, I think it is important to have that 'converstaion'.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  48. kimmers Says:

    Congratulations on being today's featured blog...

    It sounds like you are dealing with a LOT right now, and I'm sorry that so much has fallen on your shoulders! I admire you for stepping up to the plate for your dad and your grandmother. Thanks for this post, it really is such an important topic but one that I bet, for a lot of people, tends to slip through the cracks.

  49. CaraBee Says:

    This is a topic I recently talked with my own parents about to make sure they would be okay in the event that something happens to one of them. It is so hard to think about, but it is just one of those things we have to do.

    Big hugs to you and your family.

  50. Sherri Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a great post though. These are things that we need to talk about, write down and follow through with.

  51. Melissa Says:

    Very important. Also, something not so fun to think about is, if anything were to happen to both you and your spouse simultaneously, who would get your children. If you don't have a will in place, you don't have a decision on who your children will go to. That's a scary thought. Especially if there are strained relationships with extended family....

  52. Ronnica Says:

    Thanks for speaking to us and helping us through your loss. I'm not a mom (or even a wife), but I see all the hard work of those around me!

  53. Jen Edwards Says:

    I agree with you 100%...

    I was very ill early in my marriage and becasue of that I was denied life insurance until this year. My husband and I worried all the time about this situation and socked away emergency funds but after I stopped working the funds went belly up and we were in a hot spot.

    So my advice, if you have been rejected, keep trying every year. THey don't tell you but each year they have to reevaluate, plus policies change so may qualify later.

  54. Dana Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine..... Great post. This is SO important! We have never talked about any of this and I don't even have life insurance for myself. We also don't have wills drawn up. It's so hard to think about when I still feel so young. I guess with 5 kids, it's something we need to do....SOON!

  55. Molly Says:

    I am really sorry you lost your mom, I know it must be an awful time for you and you are doing such a good thing caring for your father and grandmother. Lots of big hugs!

  56. I'm so very sorry about your mom. Your post was a reminder of just how many things there are to consider as our parents age. Mine are approaching 80 and I know I'm going to have to make a lot of decisions in the near future and I don't relish it.

  57. Sorry to hear of your mom's passing.

    You are so right with the insurance. I convinced my husband years ago of the same thing. He could not understand the need, since I was quitting my full time job to be a SAHM.

  58. Lump Says:

    Thank you for this post. This is something a person should think about. I am sorry for you loss and hope you're family is keeping your heads up.

  59. Missy Says:

    Our family recently had to look at these insurance issues (new baby), and it is such a difficult concept to grasp. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience. I'm sorry that you are dealing with so many things on top of the loss of your mother.

  60. I am sorry for your loss and that the lack of insurance has made it even more difficult for your family. Everyone's right--it is an important reminder of something we don't often think about.

  61. Migraine Mom Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss...those words sound so hollow when you look at the magnitude of losing your "mommy" but please know I am so sorry. Very important post...congratulations on your SITS day...I will definitely be back..

  62. Nicole Says:

    Im so sorry for the loss of your mom, I can't even begin to imagine how hard that must me. Thankyou for the advice, it definitely is a important discussion I need to have. Thankyou for the welcomed advice.

  63. I lost my mom five years ago and still miss her every day. I am so sorry for your loss, but you are not alone. Lean on those who love you.

  64. Stephanie Says:

    Kind of scary to think about, but you're right, it is something that needs to be thought about and discussed.

  65. Vicki Says:

    So sorry for your loss...but kudos to you for pulling together and taking care of family. We have had wills ever since we got married. I know my hubby's got life insurance. Not sure about me though. I think we'll have the talk again soon.

  66. Peggy Says:

    Sound advice. When I became a widow at 43, I couldn't have made it without the insurance policy my husband so lovingly made sure I would have.

  67. Kat Says:

    We all need these reminders. Including me. My father passed away very suddenly - while Christmas shopping with my mom in December 06. He had just turned 60. I so understand what you are going through.

  68. Camille Says:

    A very good reminder- thank you. My SIL is currently dealing with a similar situation- so stressful. Will be thinking of you.

  69. christie Says:

    I totally agree with you. I've tried to have this conversation with my husband...he keeps saying it's like we're betting on death. I just feel that it's being prepared "just in case"
    It's not fun to think about...but when you're dealing with it, like you are, I'm sure it would be worth it for us to take a closer look at what we have.
    Thank you for your advice.

  70. My heart aches for you right now. I am sending up a prayer. Thank you for sharing this advice. This is soooooo important--something my husband and I were reminded of this year when he was diagnosed with cancer. Praise God, he is healed now, but we learned we needed to take care of lots of unpleasant business.

  71. Kaza Says:

    So sorry you're going through such a tough time. It's a cultural thing, really, the way we don't want to think about these things until it's too late. We need more open conversations (and posts like this) to remind us to prepare.

  72. ugagirl30 Says:

    I am so sorry that this has been so hard for you. Life insurance is soooo very important--especially us with kids, making sure they have daycare money, clothes, babysitters, food, a place to live, college money, car money--ugh...all the things to consider.

  73. This is an excellent reminder. I'm so sorry about your mother's passing, but hopefully your words will help others deal with a similar situation under better circumstances because you inspired them to have the talk.

  74. So very sorry for your loss. Conversations about getting affairs in order can be hard to have but they are OH so important.

  75. Christi Says:

    I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with this, but your advice is so true and practical. I, for one, am going to think more seriously about these issues! Thank you for sharing with us even in your grief!

  76. I am so unbelievably sorry you are dealing with. And I have been there. My father died a year ago Friday and I have been going through a lot of this with my mom. He was grossly under insured and didn't have as big of a pension as we thought. There are words to say what it's like to suddenly become the parent to your parents. I'm so so sorry you are going through this.

    That is a very important set of questions you posted. One everyone should seriously take to heart.

    Take care.

  77. Laurel Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss. And happy to find your blog through SITS. I hope somehow that all these comments will help soften the rough edges of grief for you. Thanks for the post.

  78. Michelle Says:


    I am so sorry to hear about your mom passing away. A good friend of mine just lost her father last Monday, and it's been so hard on everyone in her family. I can only hope that you start healing soon.

    And don't forget to have an updated will so that the probate and other costs are lessened and time period shortened and all those other important legal necessities. It's not a fun conversation, but it's far more fun than the alternative!

  79. ~*Paty*~ Says:

    So true. A knot was in my throught as I finished this. I wish you comfort.

  80. Apryll Says:

    I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through. I'm so sorry for your loss. Yet, in your grief you are taking time to care for the people who would read your blog. That is awesome. Thanks for putting this great advise out there. Take care.

  81. Laurie Says:

    You bring up very valid points. This is all so true and does need to be discussed.

  82. My heart aches for what you are going through. Thank you for turning your struggles into a bit of wisdom for the rest of us.

  83. AFRo Says:

    What a smart post. I'm glad that you put it out there like this because it is something that everyone NEEDS to address early on in their life. Good Housekeeping actually listed it in the top 10 ways that women sell themselves short and their article was very similar to what you've posted here.

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what it must be like.

  84. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom.

    My dad passed away in October, he was insured but I know my mom is not.

    Thank you for this reminder of this uncomfortable yet so important topic

  85. Summer Says:

    Wow. Hadn't thought of that. Will do. Thanks. And take care- all the best. :)

  86. Jenkins Says:

    Coming here from SITS, a day late.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It seems as though people are learning from your journey and may be starting up conversations that are difficult to have.

    Wishing you peaceful days and happy memories of your mother.

  87. I am so sorry to hear you have lost your Mum. I have no idea how I will cope as my parents get older. I love them.

    I have heard it said that the worth of the wife/mother/home-maker role is about $AU75,000 - $100,000 per annum (that's very similar in US$ right now.)

    That can also help us stop devaluing our roles once we're not earning a full-time wage if we no longer work outside the home.

    But life & income protection insurance is another very important consideration.

  88. Marla Says:

    This is the one and only reason I'm glad my dad loves to talk about the end... thankfully he doesn't talk about it as much but for a while it was all about death and how to be prepared...
    I hope each day is getting a little bit easier for you and that the days that art are few and far between...

  89. such a sad post, but things everyone needs to think about. God bless you and your family. Stopping by from SITS.