Margaret Donaldson sat in the living room of her smart 3 bedroom home near Fulham Road in London. Her eyes were watery and her hands shook as she finally signed the sale papers of her house; the very house where her life, her dreams and her hopes had taken root.
She remembered when, almost ten years to the day, when she, a receptionist in a small company married Michael, who was the Sales Manager in her company. She remembered their wedding day, the vows, her friends, her relations, everyone. Her honeymoon with life had just begun.
It seemed like only yesterday when Michael had grabbed her in his arms and carried her into this very house. Michael was so charming, so full of fun and energy and there was never a dull moment in Margaret’s life.
Margaret remembered the days when she had brought her two sons, David and Jonathan, into their lives. She remembered the joys of raising her two boys and how Michael helped her in their parental duties every step of the way.
Michael was a good husband and a great father. He spared no expense to ensure that his sons went to the best schools, he worked overtime to repay the mortgage on their modest property. He had done everything in his power and ability to keep his family happy. Margaret had never felt the need to work nor did she develop any new life skills.
And then, out of the blue, Margaret’s life changed forever. Michael was diagnosed with an aggressive type of cancer. The hospital did its best to cure him; they tried chemotherapy, radiation, etc. Nothing helped and within a month, Michael had passed away, leaving his loved ones behind.
And that is when Margaret’s honeymoon with life really ended.
Whenever the bread winner in any family passes away, everything boils down to money. Michael had not protected himself financially and had neither health insurance nor life cover. He’d always believed that he was too young and it would be something he’d get around to. He didn’t leave much behind. The schooling and the living costs ate up his salary and all that was left was the house. The very place where Margaret had lived her life and now she was being forced to sell.
Margaret had to sell the house to pay debts. There were school fees due. Then there was that loan Margaret had taken from a friend to pay the funeral expenses. After that, there were the daily living expenses. And there was no one to provide for the house.
If only Michael had provided for his family by covering himself with a life insurance policy. Things would have been different today. Margaret would not have to sell the house and move to an unfamiliar area to buy a cheaper property. Nor would her sons be exposed to the harsh realities of life at such a tender age.
Her eyes still wet, Margaret signed the sale deed. She had sold the house for just under 300,000. She would now use half this money to buy a small 2-bedroom semi and use the rest to pay the hospital bills and other debts. What little was left was deposited in the bank.
Margaret was starting life all over again. A life where she needed to work, where she needed to pick up new skills and a life that would never be the same again.
That was Margaret’s tragic story. And, for all you know, this could be the story of thousands of Britons.
If you have financial responsibility for others, you need to realise that anything can happen in life and you must be prepared for any eventualities. You owe it to your family, to those left behind, just in case the worst should happen. You need to be protected.