Marriage is more than just a love story; it is a partnership. One way to help better ensure our partners are prepared for anything life could throw our way is to have an estate plan. Although the details of the plan will vary for each couple, every couple can benefit from making sure both parties know these three things:
Most importantly for bank accounts. One of the top concerns of widows and widowers is the fact they do not know the password to get into their online accounts. It is important to keep track of this information, but to do so safely. Some options could include writing the information down on a piece of paper and keeping it in a safe that you can easily access or using a file on a password protected device. Access is important, as you will likely need to update this list on a regular basis.
#2. Share the financial plan.
Many families have a financial plan. This could include investing in certain accounts at certain times of year or using a specific financial advisor. Whether doing it on your own or using professionals, make sure your partner is aware of who to contact or the basics of the plan.
#3. Have a budget.
The goal of this budget is not to make sure we stay within set expenses, but instead to have transparency over which bills are due when and how much to expect. This can help our partners to navigate through expenses with a little more confidence during a very difficult time.