We see it all the time. A young man dies in a car accident or from cancer, a totally unexpected event and an event that rips the roof right off of the life of the young wife and children he has left behind. He never considered life insurance. Life at that point seems endless and so full of other things to do and to consider.

What we get to see is an obituary asking for donations to the surviving family to be taken to a special bank account set up for the family. What we get to see is the mess that is left behind when parents or grandparents fail to not just have the life insurance talk with the young family, but go that extra step and volunteer to pay for it until the family is able to budget it or until they actually get why they need it.

I’m a parent and grandparent and I understand that we can’t run their lives, but volunteering to protect your child’s or grandchild’s future without any hassle or invasion into their personal lives, at least in my experience, is a welcome involvement.

It’s not that hard to broach because all of our kids have had friends die far too young so, while they may feel invincible themselves, at least they understand the concept of tragedy. If you volunteer to pay for the insurance you will not only put the protection in place, but begin to teach your children about responsibility. The good news for you as a parent or grandparent is that they are young and healthy and it won’t cost beans to put an appropriate amount of insurance in force. A $500,000 20 year term insurance policy on a 35 year old man is only $240 a year, $20 a month. This isn’t going to blow your budget.

So, why not just have the talk and urge them to do it? With young adults 25-40 years old that might work 1 out of 10 times where they actually follow through and they actually keep it in force. The other 9 will either listen and blow it off, or the first time that $20 a month has to compete with satellite TV, the life insurance will lose and lapse.

Will there be a point where you can turn the policy over to them? Of course there will. Those of us who survived our young adulthood all remember that Aha moment when responsibility suddenly made sense and we felt compelled to do the right things. But listen! That part of responsibility that needs life insurance is just too important, too critical to wait for the Aha. It makes far more sense to just put it in place on behalf or your children and grandchildren and be prepared to carry it as long as you need to than to risk tragedy tearing part of your family to pieces.

Bottom line. I’m not advocating not teaching responsibility and I’m certainly not saying that some young people won’t just get it and embrace it right away. What I am saying is that there are life lessons that can be shown by example and even done as a gift that need to be done when the responsibility starts, not later.