It’s not the most uplifting title for an article. But it is an important topic to discuss. A few months ago, I realized that as a member of the household who primarily handles most of our financial affairs, I was also the only one who knew all the essential details. A thought came to me: what happens when I die? I quickly started creating a “just in case I die” folder. Find out why you might want to do the same.
In many families, it is not uncommon to divide household chores and essential life tasks. Since my early adult years, I have been somewhat obsessed with financial matters. So when my husband and I got married, I took it upon myself to organize much of our joint financial affairs.
Although it works well for both of us, I recently had a thought. Would my spouse be able to log into important accounts if I died? The answer is no. The last thing I want him to experience is additional stress trying to settle and pay routine bills shortly after my death.
For this reason, I have taken the time to organize the important details related to all of our financial matters. This way, the information is available when needed.
What information I have included in the file
You may be wondering what I included in the folder.
To start, I listed all the company names for our invoices and the account numbers for each account. I also wrote down an estimate of what the bill usually costs and the due date for each bill. Finally, I included the login credentials for each account since most of our invoices are dematerialized.
I also made sure to include less frequent bills, like our quarterly water, sewer and garbage bills. It also meant that I included annual bills like our AAA membership and other similar expenses. I don’t want an invoice to go unpaid because I forgot to include it.
I also made sure that our Bank account details have been included. As we have several accounts, it could be easy for him to forget one.
I know many of these details by heart, but my husband would have to do a lot of work to find this information if I did not include it in the file. I’m sure the last thing he would want to do while grieving is spend hours on the phone sorting out billing issues.
Should a file be created “in the event of death”?
You may want to start working on a similar file if you are the family member who takes care of essential financial matters.
If you’re not the household’s financial manager, ask your partner to start working on a file. If you live alone or with roommates, it wouldn’t hurt to take the time to outline this information and give it to a trusted loved one.
Don’t forget to include regular bills like credit card household bills and utilities and less frequent bills like memberships and other annual fees.
Although it takes time to create a record like this, you could save your loved ones time and stress after your death by gathering this information and keeping it in one place.
Keep your file in a safe place
Be sure to store your file in a safe place. If you have a fireproof safe in your home, you can store it there. If you want to keep the file outside your home, you can give it to a trusted relative to store it safely on their property. You can also get a bank vault for important documents like these.
It was strange to create my “in case I die” folder. Yet, I feel much more comfortable knowing that my husband will have all the vital information he needs to continue managing household finances if I can no longer do it for us.
Discover our personal finance resources if you are looking for additional advice on managing essential financial matters.
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