For many couples, talking about death is difficult. Nobody likes to think about dying. It’s scary to think the person you’re growing old with will no longer be around someday.
Recently my husband said, “I can’t imagine my life without you. That’s why I’m going to die first.” Of course, his comment shocked me and I wasn’t sure how to respond. Trying to lighten the mood, I said, “No–I need to go first because I know you will be able to re-group a whole lot better than I would.” Then, jokingly, I suggested we die together.
That brief conversation got me to do some serious thinking. How would I cope emotionally and financially should my husband pass away before me?
Preparing your finances for your death is a topic many don’t want to talk about. Death is inevitable, however, and if you don’t take the time to plan, your wishes (and your family’s financial security) could be at risk.
Here are some tips I found, which I hope will be as helpful to you as they are to me:
1) Creating a living will and name an executor.
2) Discuss your finances with your spouse and make sure you know account numbers, passwords, billing arrangements and insurance information.
3) Talk about about funeral arrangements and find out if your spouse wants a coffin or prefers cremation.
4) List insurance and medical policy numbers, investment and other financial account numbers, along with passwords, social security information, and login data for websites.
5) Make a rough draft of your monthly budget, factoring in living expenses and income.
Getting your house in order while you’re both still alive will save the surviving spouse (and other family members) a lot of frustration and paperwork during the grieving process.