Dividing up the work in a family can be a great way to ease the burdens of life. There are your “indoor chores,” like cleaning and cooking and your “outdoor chores,” like yard work. One person may purchase the gifts for holidays and birthdays while the other person pays the bills and handles financial matter. However, it is also important that each person knows how to do all the chores, in case they need to take them on some day. If the person who shovels the snow is injured, the other person will need to step in until they are back on their feet.
But, what would happen if the person responsible for money matters died or suffered an incapacitating event? With the grieving of a loss there will also be the confusion and uncertainty on the finances. Teaching each other the skills involved in the other’s chores is particularly important in financial matters and will help avoid a lot of confusion. It is important to know where financial records are and what to do. Here are just some important questions for your financial well-being:
1. Are the bills sent electronically, how do you pay them and from which account?
2. Do you have any automatic money transfers set up?
3. Where are the checking accounts?
4. Where are the saving accounts?
5. What are the passwords and account numbers? (This one is really critical.)
Knowing the answers to these questions and having knowledge of each other’s skills will help avoid confusion with financial matters if something should happen. It is critical to have these conversations now and avoid problems down the road.
Raymond C. Lantz, Jr. is the president and founder of USA Wealth Group, Inc. Ray has many years of experience advising clients in retirement and sophisticated tax planning strategies, multi-family and commercial real estate projects, and legacy planning. Ray is a graduate of Clark University, holds a law degree from Boston College, and a master of laws in taxation from Boston University. You can hear him every Sunday on Money Wise with Ray Lantz on WBSM 1420AM or on the Radio Pup app.