Agent talking to young family with new baby

It’s easy to put off buying life insurance.  No one wants to dwell on the circumstances in which they would need it but the truth is, we all need it.  So push aside thoughts of your own mortality and think instead about what life insurance really is:  a critical part of good financial planning and one of the best ways to take care of the people you love most. Below are three ways life insurance can help you do that.

Funeral expenses

You probably haven’t given much thought to planning your own funeral. With the proper life insurance however, you can make sure the cost is covered for those left behind, even without a full plan. That cost could be significant: in the U.S., funerals average between $8,000-$10,000. In the event of premature death that can be an enormous burden on a family unprepared for it, especially when they want to properly memorialize someone they love. Life insurance can help free grieving family members from the added stress of a sudden—and large—financial burden.

Help support your family

Life insurance can do more, of course, than pay for a funeral. Think about your current financial situation, including outstanding debts.  If you are married, a life insurance policy will help your surviving spouse manage monthly and daily expenses, like rent and car loan payments. Life insurance can also help pay joint credit card bills. That’s important, because the surviving account holder will be fully responsible for that card’s debt, even if you made all the charges. And if you’re a parent, life insurance can help ensure your kids’ college savings accounts aren’t tapped to help pay other expenses.

There’s also the question of your estate, which is essentially everything you own that will be inherited, like real estate, investments and personal belongings. That inheritance, however, will be taxed. Your beneficiaries will have to pay federal, and often state, estate taxes. Depending on the value of what’s inherited, estate taxes can be hefty and if they aren’t paid, can hold up the transfer of your property. Life insurance, fortunately, can help cover the estate taxes your beneficiaries will have to pay.

You may also leave behind a business. If your family and employees depend upon your business to support them, it’s crucial you have life insurance. Money from the policy will enable the business you worked hard to build to continue to operate—and support those depending on it—while a succession plan is put in place.

Pay off your home mortgage

Mortgage loans aren’t simply forgiven if the mortgage holder unexpectedly dies, but life insurance can help pay it off, so that your spouse and other beneficiaries don’t have to face the prospect of immediately having to sell their home. Instead they can live in the house uninterrupted, without worrying about how they will make payments or fearing the house will wind up in foreclosure. That’s a significant benefit, because debt can be inherited and follow your family around for years, negatively impacting their future credit.

Finding the right life insurance that meets your needs and fits your budget can be complicated but a HealthMarkets agent can help guide you through the options. Find a local life insurance agent today.

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