1. Review Your Policy.

That’s right, I’m actually recommending you open up and look at that giant life insurance document you received. Please don’t just throw in a file for it to never be seen again.What to do after buying life insurance

I know it’s intimidating but do it. It won’t be that bad. I’m not asking you to study or memorize it, but rather peruse through it to make sure everything is correct.

You would be surprised at the amount of life insurance policies I see where something is wrong. Take a few minutes to go through the policy and if something isn’t right, you can get it corrected immediately

2. Setup an Online Login.

Please, please, please, I beg of you to do this. I’m going to say less than 1 in a 100 people actually takes the time to create an online account for their life insurance policy.

We do it for investment accounts, bank accounts, mortgages, and just about everything else in our financial lives, but when it comes to life insurance, for some reason nobody wants to set up their username and password.

The reason I recommend doing this is because if you have a financial dashboard that aggregates all of your financial accounts into one place (check out ours here), your spouse is going to be grateful to know that everything is actually there if something were to happen.

3. Discuss With Your Spouse.

No brainer, right? Well, believe it or not, some people don’t even share with their spouse the amount of life insurance they have, let alone that they actually have it.

Take the time to sit down with your spouse and let them know about this new policy (your old ones too), the amount, where’s it located and who they should call if anything were to happen. Again, your spouse will be grateful. Remember, life insurance isn’t for you, it’s for the ones you love.

4. Put it in a Safe Place (scan it to the cloud).

Most people know to put it in a safe place. I would recommend a safe deposit box or a safe at home. However, I would highly recommend you scan it to a financial documents folder that’s in the cloud.

At NextGen Wealth, we have a cloud-based folder for each of our clients. It holds virtually every document in their financial lives, not to mention copies of trusts, wills, living wills, power of attorney’s, birth certificates, social security cards, passports, etc.

If you don’t have cloud-based storage, get on it. If you have a Gmail account then you have access to 15GB of free Google Drive storage. Take advantage of it.

It’s very easy to set up and will ensure that not only can you access these important documents from anywhere, but that they’ll always be there even if your computer were to crash.

5. Reassess Your Needs Annually.

Set a reminder with your financial planner to review your life insurance needs on an annual basis. Yea, most likely not much has changed, but when something has, you’ll be grateful you updated things.

Whether you’re a DIY’er or work with a financial planner, make it a habit to sit down and have an annual review. This is when you can make changes as well as ensure everything is up to date.

Now get to work implanting these 5 steps with the policies you already have in place!

Clint Haynes is a Kansas City Financial Planner and President of NextGen Wealth

Haven't had a chance to look into life insurance yet? Be sure to get a free term life insurance quote here.