Thinking about the loss of a loved one isn’t fun for anyone, but it could save your financial life. I have been helping people with money for decades and there are certain scenarios I come across often, and this is one of them. The scenario: there is a person that is financially responsible, designs a will, and purchases life insurance, yet after their passing a real mess begins. I recently met a widow who was left with nearly a million dollars after the passing of her husband but she was paralyzed with fear because her husband had always been the one in the relationship that handled the money. This week in my Indy Star column I talk about what you can do to keep your family in the loop and prepare them for the unexpected.
“You must take the time to prepare a detailed plan of the details. While you might have a will, trust, plenty of money, and plenty of income, a financial plan that doesn’t include the keys to the castle, is flawed.” (courtesy of the Indy Star)
These are the four things that you can do now to prepare for a great financial future for the ones you love:
1) Write it out. If you want your loved ones to be prepared after you pass away, writing out all of your accounts, account numbers, and passwords is vital. Put them in a secure location and inform the right person where they are being kept. Keep a reminder in your calendar to update the information twice a year.
2) Tell your adult children. If you have adult children that are trustworthy fill them in on your financial situation. “It saddens me to have to write the trustworthy part, but it’s an important part. If you can’t bring your kids up to speed, at least loop in another third party.” (courtesy of the Indy Star)
3) Mix it up. If you and your partner are set in habits of who does what with important information (one partner pays the bills, the other runs the budget) you need to switch duties for one month. This will benefit you in two ways. First, it will fill you in on the important aspects that your partner already knows and second, it will help you appreciate what your partner does on a regular basis.
4) Know the daily activities. “Having a ton of money going to the right person isn’t enough. Our financial lives are more than just money. We all need to know how to execute the daily financial activities that are so often taken for granted. Be sure and discuss these details with your significant other. When the time comes, your loved one needs a chance to grieve and if they’re trying to hack the family computer for information, then the grieving gets delayed.” (courtesy of the Indy Star)
The good news is that a little extra effort can go a long way toward cushioning the blow of a lost loved one.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.