Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making plans in case you don’t make it

One thing people always mention about my blog is how much they like the reality based approach to things related to survival.
We’ll, if we’re going to keep it that way there’s something we should talk about concerning SHTF of various degrees.
Just like it makes no sense to talk about defensive shooting and never expect to get shot, it makes no sense to think we will all live long lives and die on our sleep past the age of 90. When things get rough, bad things happen. For example a couple today got gunned down in Fuerte Apache, both died. Chances are in your favor and these are rare and uncommon events, but it’s just one possibility, and it makes sense to plan for various of these less fortunate scenarios.

1)One if the first things my wife and I did when our son was born was write down in a piece of paper our last will regarding our son. We clearly stated who we wanted to be in charge of him and we gave it to that person for safe keeping.
It would be beyond tragic if after our deaths both grandparents and families started a fight over who gets custody, and maybe our children would spend time wondering around until things are settled. My wife (lawyer) told me that this way a judge would quickly rule and the matter would be settled.

2)Life insurance makes sense for so many reasons, it’s not worth going much into this. Specially with both parents creating income, the loss of one of them would add extra burden on the already tragic situation. Don’t go cheap on your life insurance either. None of us wants to have to fight a miserable merchant as a bonus to dealing with a loved one’s death.

3)Health insurance should also be included here. One of the most essential steps into serious becoming a survivalist, prepper or simply a reasonable person, is preparing for what beyond doubt will be a problem in our lives sooner or later.
Read your contract well. Exactly what does it cover? Mental treatment? For how long? ( you want to look into this if your family has a record of mental disorder, I know people that just snapped, and they did have a family history regarding this). How about the all too common heart problem and high blood pressure? That can leave you in coma for God knows how long. Does you health plan cover unlimited intensive care, or are they going to kick you out after 3-6 months? unlimited physical recovery therapy, Kinesiology? Or only 20 sessions a year?

4)Survivalists tent to have hidden gear, buried caches and several back up plans. Write that down on your will, and leave your wife a letter too in case she forgets or in case you didn’t even mention it to her.
There was this guy I read about in the local gun magazine “Magnum” that had a serious gun collection but wasn’t exactly honest with his wife about all his purchases. When he died, his wife found a letter in the safe with a detail description of each gun, the asking price for each and the minimum selling price, a couple dealers he trusted that could help her sell the guns she didn’t need and even some friends that had mentioned an interest in buying certain guns he owned.
Imagine what would have happened if the poor widow had sold everything without knowing what it was all really worth.
I think this is a very good idea for other gear as well.

5) In the same line of thought, it’s a good idea to leave a small business description of what you do for a living in case she wants to continue it. A summary of what the business is about and the philosophy behind it, the business plan, clients, account numbers, phone number with a description for each ( Who the hell is Larry Smith???) an accurate payment list with amounts names and dates the clients are expected to pay.

I’m sure forgetting about a few more, but these are some good starting points.



Forced Regression said...

Very sensible suggestions, Ferfal.
I would just add that in regards to getting life insurance, people need to be exceedingly diligent in determining who is underwriting their policy. AIG is a prime example of an insurance company that was writing policies without any appreciable reserve pool to meet potential claims on those policies.

Governments across the world are trying to paper over the fact that the major financial institutions are critically insolvent. It might be best to let the day of reckoning come for the financial industry (likely a matter of months) and then purchase your policy from whomever is left standing.

lynnaea said...

Thank you so much for posting about this. I'm a lawyer in the US who handles wills and estates almost exclusively and I cannot tell you how hard it is for people to straighten out their loved ones' affairs when the deceased left no will, records, lists, letters, or other way to help their family. It leaves an absolute mess and makes things so much harder for the survivors than it needs to be.

macman2k said...

Insurance is only as good as the counter party. When you are facing an economic collapse and hyperinflation, life insurance is simply not worth it. Instead, I would take the savings and focus on life assurance. Worried about being gunned down? Buy a vest. Worried about being sick? Learn about preventative health care.

The more I learn about the medical industry, the more I realize that I do not want their most expensive products and none of their drugs. Instead I would spend the savings on alternative medicine. I would only trust the profession for trauma (broken bones, loss of blood, appendix, and other "surgery").

With where the economy is today, I know that a medical debt will soon be wiped out by hyperinflation and that Obama will likely pass universal health care. Today's health insurance costs are way to high.

Anonymous said...

@macman2k: That's easy to say when you are healthy, sitting around trying to imagine being sick. When you are sick, all the rules change. When you were healthy you thought you would never want a feeding tube. When you are sick, you realize that you can temporarily have the tube and rehabilitate back to eating, etc.

People aren't capable of imagining those situations well. I think that often limits the usefulness of "living wills." I think it is much more sensible to pick someone who loves you, make a power of attorney for medical decisions, and ask them to make the most reasonable choices in a bad situation.

The decisions will change from day to day--no kidding.

Been there.

Anonymous said...

If it's not included in the will, make sure you have a clearly written plan concerning burial arrangements. Make it very clear to your spouse what kind of funeral you want, whether you want to be buried or cremated, where you want your remains to go, etc. It's morbid and not fun conversation, but it's best to discuss these things when everyone is conscious and clear-headed.

I mention this because when someone I know died unexpectedly, there was a conflict among the family about what to do with the body. The spouse of the deceased knew he wouldn't have wanted a big, expensive funeral; other family members insisted that he did. There was much drama and unnecessary conflict that could have been prevented with a little bit of planning.