Do you have someone in your household who traditionally “takes care” of the bills, or is “in charge” of your finances? When meeting with potential clients, all else being equal, I will hear that there is one person who is the “go to” for all things financial. This may be because they have an interest or aptitude in that area, or they’ve just had that responsibility allocated to them in the division of household duties.
Though it is encouraging to hear that, what I’m also hearing is that if the person “in charge” of the finances dies or becomes disabled, there will be no-one in the household who can easily pick up where they left off to keep the financial ship on an even keel.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that all partners in a relationship have knowledge of the financial workings of the household. Even finding out what bills are due and when, can be a daunting task, if you’ve never done it. Locating important documents? Virtually impossible if you never knew where they were kept.
When meeting with clients, or potential clients, we always have a conversation regarding this topic, to ensure that all parties are aware of the household resources, and who to call (whether it be attorneys, clergy, financial advisors, banks, etc) in the case of an emergency. There are many tools available to organize and keep this information. One I particularly like (if you are not put off by the title) is “I’m Dead, Now What?”. Completing the information in this book (or something similar) provides a guide for the person who may be suddenly left “in charge”.
Bottom line, I think that it is critically important that all partners be equally informed as to the financial workings of their household. Though we don’t expect the worst to happen, it is good to be prepared just in case. Once the preparation and education is completed, then we can move on to other perhaps more enjoyable conversations!
As always, we are here to help! Contact us today and we will help you develop your own path to financial well-being: 315-446-5797