Last time we spoke about couples merging finances together. I have witnessed many couples who keep their finances separate. While I am not opposed to this, it can create problems down the road.
I have a friend currently who is trying to piece together her deceased spouses finances. It’s unfortunate, he passed away unexpected and suddenly. Their finances were totally separate. Now she is having to search for where his bank accounts are, where his life insurance is and so much more. Yes, they were fortunate to have the legal paperwork in place – will, estate plan etc. but there are issues with the legal paperwork too. It more complicated for the surviving spouse as they are not only mourning their loss, they have to deal with the financial fallout.
When my mother passed away, my father was lost because he didn’t handle the finances. My mom was a bookkeeper and she handled all the bank accounts and bill paying. He never paid a bill in his life up to this point. He actually made piles on the dining room table of bills. Then the calls started to come in that the bills were past due. He assumed that things were automatic but they weren’t. The story of a spouse in the dark.
Make sure the surviving partner / spouse is aware of your financial situation and has access to the accounts. They should know how to access the bank / investment accounts. They should know where your life insurance policy is. They should know how to access your passwords. Take the time to have this discussion before it’s too late and have a plan in place.