Life insurance for married couples is an act of love. It acknowledges how important each partner's contribution is to the life you're building together and helps you prepare for the possibility of something happening to one of you.
Nothing can protect against the heartache of such a loss, but life insurance can prevent the financial challenges that often accompany it. Here's how you and your spouse can approach life insurance planning together.
5 reasons married people have life insurance
When you have
Here are some reasons married couples may want life insurance.
1. Life insurance can replace income from a spouse
When you and your spouse each have a life insurance contract and you
2. Life insurance can help the surviving spouse cover debts
You may now or one day have significant debts you don't want your spouse to be burdened with. While some debts, such as student loans, are discharged upon death, most have to be repaid from the deceased's estate. In particular,
In some cases, loan servicers accelerate a debt when a borrower dies, meaning it becomes due and payable all at once, and any previous monthly payment schedule no longer applies. Facing a shortened timeframe to repay a debt can be stressful, but life insurance can alleviate any pressure.
3. It can go toward paying final expenses
End-of-life care can leave surviving spouses with medical bills. Further,
4. Life insurance can help maintain your child's quality of life
If you and your spouse have children or might in the future, you likely want to prevent your dependent children from facing financial challenges if a parent dies prematurely.
To avoid leaving money to minor children or to a relative who may or may not use intended funds to care for the children, some couples make their life insurance benefits payable to a
5. The death benefit from life insurance can leave behind a legacy
Life insurance: A conversation guide
Life insurance options for married couples
You and your spouse may each have one or more separate life insurance contracts, or you can get joint coverage. Here are some different scenarios you might encounter in married life:
It's common for spouses to have separate life insurance contracts. One person may already have coverage through their work, while another may hold an individual contract.
Knowing that someone is relying on you to carry on the life you've built together can motivate you to get more coverage. One or both of you might want to purchase a new contract for various reasons:
- To provide personalized coverage for each spouse's needs
- To have term coverage for more years
- To get permanent coverage that lasts and offers accumulated cash value
- To obtain enough coverage regardless of where you work
- To secure a larger death benefit in case you have children or start a business
- To maintain separate coverage benefiting children from previous relationships
- To support a family member with lifelong
Joint life insurance may be a good choice when:
- You want a more economical way to get the coverage you need.
- An older or less healthy spouse needs a way to get coverage.
- You're seeking the means to cover estate taxes after the second spouse dies.
- You're interested in providing a financial legacy to your children/beneficiaries upon the second death.
When should a married couple buy life insurance?
It's usually best to purchase life insurance as early as is feasible for you. That's because the younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums are likely to be. However, it may be especially important for you and your spouse to purchase coverage or reevaluate your existing coverage at specific milestones.
Buying a home
Most people take out a mortgage to buy a home, and you may not want to risk leaving your spouse to cover the entire payment by themselves. Along with the monthly principal and interest on a mortgage, the ongoing financial obligations of owning a home include property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance and repairs.
Getting at least enough life insurance to pay off the mortgage can provide a sense of reassurance that your spouse won't have to move if you pass away.
Expanding the family
If you decide to raise children together, you may want to protect them with life insurance. The death benefit can maintain their comfortable standard of living if you pass away before they're financially independent.
Starting a business
Getting enough life insurance to pay off business debts, buy out a business partner or keep the business running until it can be sold can help protect your family, your employees and your clients.
Help with evaluating your life insurance options
Married couples may want to consider life insurance because of the role it can play in maintaining a comfortable living standard for a surviving spouse, children or adult dependents. Death benefits can be used to pay off a mortgage, keep a small business running, cover final expenses or leave a legacy.
It's never too soon or too late in your married life to consider life insurance. You can often secure better premiums for individual or joint coverage when you're young and healthy. But you may also find your budget has room for different life insurance options later in life.
For help understanding and evaluating your contract options, a