Being part of a family takes a lot of work: keeping in touch with everyone, planning a wedding, working on your marriage, becoming a parent, and caring for your loved ones old and young can be a challenge greater than one person can handle. We've put together a collection of Web sites that can act as a family counselor, genealogist, storyteller, long-lost friend or relative finder, and even personal organizer.
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Although it may not be pleasant to think about your own passing, it is as certain as your taxes. And, much like your taxes, proper planning can make it much easier (emotionally and financially) on your entire family. The sites recommended below can help you prepare for your own death or deal with the death of a loved one.
- Many of the sites listed below will provide information to help you plan for your own passing, but might also be useful if you have just experienced the loss of a loved one and are in need of resources to help you plan the funeral or cope with loss.
- If you are looking for life insurance, most insurance providers have Web sites where you can read information about policies and even compare quotes. To find your preferred provider search for its name in a search engine such as Yahoo! or Ask.com.
- For some, the thought of death brings about questions about religion. For religious resources or more information about religion in general, see the findingDulcinea Religion Web Guide.
For general information about death planning ...
To help plan a funeral ...
has a very user-friendly section dedicated to funeral and death planning. This section has a printable funeral planner as well as guides to help you get your money and business affairs in order should you die unexpectedly. Eons also has an obituary section
and takes a humorous approach to death in its celebrity trivia game Dead or Alive
The Federal Trade Commission
has an informative article about funerals and how to prepare for them. You'll find a glossary of common terminology, a printable checklist to help you compare prices, and links to additional information and organizations.
For wills and estate planning ...
The American Bar Association
has an Estate Planning FAQ that explains a will, power of attorney, a trust, probate, and other legal issues related to planning for your death.
Nolo's Wills and Estate Planning center
can help you plan your will and estate. Nolo is a resource that makes legal information more understandable for everyone; its range of checklists and articles should guide you through the estate planning process.
has a section on estate planning that breaks down the subject into manageable elements and explains the importance of each step of the process. If you're not sure how estate planning should factor into your financial plan—or if it will—CNN is a place to find the basics.
For life insurance ...
has a worksheet that helps you figure out how much life insurance you need. On the right side of the worksheet you'll find links to other life insurance articles from the magazine that will help you choose a policy and maybe even save some money. Also worth a look for beginners is the life insurance glossary
has an Insurance Company Guide that lets you search for an insurance company in your area by the Standard and Poor's financial strength rating and by type of insurance they provide. If you have a company in mind but are looking for their rating, you can simply type in the company name here.
has an insurance company finder that allows you to search for insurance companies in your area by financial strength ratings, or issuer credit ratings. You can narrow your search by selecting as many or as few options as you'd like (search only by state or country if you want a huge list of insurers). To view the ratings you will have to subscribe to the site (for free). To better understand the ratings, click on one of the menu options on the left tool bar (for example, "Ratings Definitions").
The Death Clock
takes a lighthearted look at our life expectancy. Enter a few pieces of information about your birth date and lifestyle and The Death Clock will estimate when you will expire.
will help you locate obituaries from newspapers nationwide or the Social Security Death Index.
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