Need Your Pulse Checked?

This concept restates the obvious. Many people who think they are immortal need to come to grips with reality. Not everyone realizes this simple fact. There is a 100% probability of death. If you don’t die before age 65, you’ll die after age 65. You’re not immortal. Your doctor could pronounce you fit today, and you could die tomorrow. No one ever dies at the right time. Think Michael Jackson. He died at only age 50. Or do you remember hearing about former NFL QB Steve McNair who was found shot to death at age 36? And then there was the Charlie’s Angel, Farrah Fawcett, who died of cancer at 62. We all could add to this sad list, but it is reality.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that no one has a lease on life…or on good health. Life insurance is like a parachute. You have to get it before you need it. By the time you know you need it, it may be too late. How much are your tomorrows worth? How long do you expect to live? What is your life worth to your family? How long do you expect to be dead? Do you want your life insurance to be in force when you die?

On August 2nd, 1996, a Los Angeles television station carried a story about Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, who were the prosecuting attorneys in the O.J. Simpson trial, attending a fundraising event the prior evening for the Van Sloten family.

According to an article, which appeared in the April 20th, 1996 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Martha Van Sloten, a 40-year-old legal secretary, had died in April from breast cancer, which had spread, into her bones. Her husband, Richard, who is 48, and who is a prosecuting attorney for Los Angeles County, has been diagnosed as having an inoperable brain tumor. Doctors say he’ll be fortunate to live a few more months.

The Van Slotens have three daughters, one of whom is a 19-year-old who has been forced to drop out of college in order to help with her younger sisters who are ages 4 and 8. Arrangements have been made for the girls to live with relatives in Washington State. According to the article, the family’s life insurance was modest.

What are the chances that even one spouse would die, let alone both? The chances are 100%. We just don’t know when death will occur. No one has a lease on life. Life insurance must be purchased before you need it. By the time you know you need it, it’s too late.

Have you recently reviewed your life insurance and your wills and trusts and guardianship arrangements? Wouldn’t it make sense to do so right now? Richard Van Sloten died the day before Thanksgiving that year at the age of 49. If this real life story doesn’t wake you up and hit you between the eyes, please, get your pulse checked.

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