Although most of us avoid thinking about it, the one guarantee in life is that everybody’s time on this earth is numbered. No, I’m not going to get into wills or other more complicated personal financial topics here. What I’m talking about here is a simple step you need to do to help your spouse or a close family member for when you do pass away.
Picture this scenario: Something catastrophic happens to you and you are the person in your household who primarily manages and makes financial decisions. Financial management and decisions in regards to bank accounts, investment/retirement accounts, and insurance policies. Where does it leave your spouse or the family member who will be responsible for picking up the pieces after you have passed? If you have not organized and discussed your finances with your spouse then it leaves them not only having to deal with your loss and it’s ramifications, but also having to deal with trying to figure out simple things like if you have life insurance, with whom you have it with, and what bank accounts or investment accounts do you have.
I know a woman who when she had lost her husband, not only was dealing with grief from her loss, but she was panicked with how she was going to pay for the funeral expenses. She knew of no life insurance policy. Fortunately, as it turned out, her husband did have a life insurance policy; however, it would have lightened her burden some to have had knowledge of this in the first place.
Please, take the time to organize your finances. All it takes is some filing folders and a master list of every institution that you have financial ties to; this includes insurance policies, bank accounts, U.S. Treasury Bonds, Retirement accounts, your mortgage, etc. Include contact information for these institutions. Discuss with them the ownership status of the account; such as, is it a joint account or is there a beneficiary named on the account. Also, include a contact name and phone number for the HR department at your employer. Periodically, review these files with your spouse or family member.
You may not be able to protect your loved one from their grief of your passing, but at least you can alleviate some of the stress from it.
A good place to keep your most important documents is in a fire-resistant/waterproof locked file. Keeping your important documents in one of these will allow your loved ones to easily identify where your important documents are stored as well as help protect your documents from fire or water damage. You can purchase a fire-safe waterproof SentrySafe here.