Sharing Important Financial Information with Loved Ones

Suppose you are in the middle of your workday and you receive an urgent telephone call from the local hospital. The caller informs you that your spouse has been involved in a serious car accident and is unconscious. The shock of such a situation can make it difficult to cope with your everyday routine.

Now, suppose your loved one, who has always handled the family finances, were to die as the result of the accident. While you are grieving, it will be difficult to identify and gather important financial records and documents. Will you be able to quickly identify the numbers of bank accounts and insurance policies? Can you locate wills and other key documents?

Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. To avoid this predicament, it is important to take the time to sit down with your spouse and prepare an inventory of pertinent financial information. Update it regularly as changes occur, and share this information with family members or other trusted associates who will need to know where this inventory will be located. This inventory will prove invaluable to a surviving spouse, another family member, or a close friend who must manage your financial affairs after your death.

What Information Should You Include?

Include the following information in your inventory:

  • Basic Data. Include your full name, maiden name, date of birth, and Social Security number.
  • Financial Contacts. List the names of your lawyer, accountant, insurance agent, and other financial representatives, along with their contact information.
  • Financial Assets, Liabilities, and Account Numbers. Identify all assets, including bank accounts, insurance policies, and company benefits along with relevant identifying numbers. Also, note any outstanding liabilities, such as mortgages, loans, and credit card debt.
  • Location of Key Documents. Finally, list the location of your will, trust documents, tax returns, and insurance policies.

The death of a loved one is never easy. However, an updated inventory with vital financial information can help ease the burden and expedite the resolution of your financial affairs for those who are left behind. 

 

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