Even Astronauts Have to Think about Estate Planning

Everyone has unique circumstances that apply to their families and the decisions regarding how best to take care of them. As reported on National Public Radio this morning, the Apollo 11 Astronauts had a truly unique situation in planning for their families as they embarked on their historic trip to the moon in 1969. Their mission was arguably the most dangerous adventure undertaken by a human being at that time. All of the astronauts had families that they were leaving on earth as they traveled to the moon and all wanted to insure the future financial health of their families in case they did not return. However, due to the risky nature of their chosen profession, a life insurance policy would cost approximately $50,000-per year-in 1969! Therefore, the astronauts came up with a creative plan to provide wealth to their families in case of their untimely death.

While in quarantine before the scheduled flight, the men signed "covers" commemorating the historic flight. A friend had the covers postmarked on the day of the launch and gave the post marked covers to the astronauts' families so that they would have a valuable commodity to sell if needed to fund the family's future. As we know the mission was quite successful, but the astronauts' forethought is a good reminder to us all that even unique and challenging circumstances should not prevent good estate planning. To see a picture of the autographed covers and hear the radio broadcast of the story, click here http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/08/30/160267398/what-the-apollo-astronauts-did-for-life-insurance

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