Chanel Reynolds, 352 pages

Chanel Reynolds lived through the traumatic experience of her husband passing away suddenly in a traffic accident, leaving her to figure out single-parenthood, finances, insurance, and life without her spouse. As the most useful book I’ve read this year, I had to give it a recommendation with a brief synopsis of what’s in here.

The Story Itself

The book goes through Chanel’s life before, during, and after the accident. She reflects back on her mindset in the moment as she dealt with the chaos and confusion following the accident. She had to deal with things you’d never think of if you haven’t been through something like this.

What is your bank account and password if your spouse handles that?
What life insurance policies do you have personally and through work? Are beneficiaries designated properly?
What is the mortgage account number and password?
Social security number? Driver’s license number?
What to do with death certificates?
Where is your marriage certificate from the state?
What about a will? Or should you get a living will? What about a trust?
How would your spouse (and his or her family) want the funeral handled?
Buried or cremated?

These are some of the things she had to deal with and gives you practical advice on where to get started on these if you haven’t already.

The way Chanel was able to mix in the story with the practical application of things she wished she had taken care of before the accident was helpful for me. In fact, while reading I went through and checked my accounts and whether or not I had assigned beneficiaries. On 4 of the 8, I hadn’t. They are taken care of now.

I spoke to an attorney friend about a living will and trust. I made sure my life insurance policy was enough to take care of my family in the event the worst happens to us.

Caitlin and I had a conversation about what we want in the event we end up on life support, funeral preferences, and the awkward conversation of whether we’d be okay with the other remarrying. These conversations aren’t fun, but they are very important because you just never know when it is your or your spouse’s time to go.

There are what feels like a million things to worry about, but Chanel helps make it seem manageable. She also has a website in place to give additional resources and connect to professionals in specific fields (

Support this blog and pick up the book here so I can get the $0.30 affiliate commission.

Fun fact: It’s actually called a “bounty” on Amazon. I can earn bounties if you purchase the book through my link. Sounds like a pirate’s quest or something.

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