Back in 2013, when I gave birth to my first son, one of the first thoughts that hit me was "Oh my god, this little person is completely reliant on me" - the realisation of that responsibility was something that stayed with me and all of a sudden things that had previously seemed unimportant and a lifetime away were now at the forefront of my mind.
What would happen to my baby if something were to happen to me? Who would provide for him? What could I do to guarantee his wellbeing should the worst happen?
I made a mental note to look into the legalities as soon as I left the hospital, but of course - then began life with a newborn. In the first 6 months of my sons life, we had a house move from one side of the country to the other to undertake and so looking into those things soon slipped to the back of my mind.
Every so often I would remember, usually last thing at night when trying to fall asleep - I'd tell myself "I must remember to look into these things tomorrow!" - but the next day brought new stresses and challenges, and it slipped my mind again.
I'm a little embarrassed to say that it's now 4 years and 2 children later, and up until the start of this year I still hadn't got around to putting things in place to secure my childrens future.
The kick I needed came in December, when an unexpected and frightening stay in hospital left me seriously worried about my health - and as I laid on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance, my mind turned to all of those things I'd never got around to. I had no life insurance, no will in place...what would happen to my children if something dreadful was to happen to me that night?
It was a terrifying experience, but it was also what I needed to jolt me into action.
As soon as I was discharged, I finally made time to get my affairs in order - and I was so pleasantly surprised at how straight forward it all was!
The first thing I did was to put a will in place - I had previously had no idea how to go about this, I was unsure if I needed to employ a solicitor to oversee things and how much it would cost me to get it all done - but I soon discovered that you can now write your will online.
This was so much more convenient than I ever imagined it would be, and cheaper too - companies such as Affio offer user friendly will writing templates that can be downloaded and updated whenever needed, and what was even more surprising was that creating a basic legal will with them was entirely free!
More complicated things such as leaving specific gifts to people can incur a small charge, but far smaller than I imagined with prices around the £50 mark.
The process couldn't be simpler, it's a quick and easy 5 stage process with videos demonstrating what to do along the way - so straight forward and all in plain English! It couldn't be simpler.
It took less than 20 minutes for me to complete my basic will online, and didn't cost a penny - yet brought a huge sense of relief!
Another thing I wanted to sort out was a life insurance policy - to do this I simply used an online comparison site to determine who was offering the best deal, made a quick phonecall and within half an hour I was covered with a suitable amount to see my 3 children looked after should anything happen to me.
I can't tell you the amount of reassurance this has brought me, and if you are a parent who is still going day to day without having put these measures into place like I was - I highly recommend taking an hour out of your day to do it. It really is so worth while for your own peace of mind.
*This is a collaborative post, but all words and thoughts are my own.
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