Married ladies, do you know this information?

20210803 Legal Question

LEGAL WELLNESS- August 5, 2021 I shared this on TheLegalYogi’s social media pages this week because this is an issue that comes up too often.  I know that there is often a division of labor within marriages; however, sometimes the division is to such a point where one spouse does not have any information regarding what the other spouse is handling.  For example, one spouse may take care of all the finances.  This works as long as this spouse is alive and has mental capacity.  If that spouse were to suddenly pass away, the surviving spouse may find themselves in a very difficult situation.  In order to avoid this difficulty, take action before there is a tragic event.  Taking action can be as simple as a couple taking a few hours to answer the proposed questions in writing.  What assets are owned?  What are the bills?  What is the location of ALL important documents?  

Further, I am not picking on the married ladies, merely trying to save you some possible future grief.  I do know that sometimes wives handle the finances; however, I see more often that even when a wife handles the finances, if she passes away first, the husband generally knows the answers to the above questions; whereas the reverse is less common from my experience.  If you find yourself in this situation, do not feel badly, you are not alone.  If you’re reading this, don’t have the answers to these questions and your spouse is still alive, it’s not too late- get the answers.  If you’re reading this, don’t have the answers to these questions and your spouse has passed away, it may be difficult to find these answers, but it’s not a lost cause.  Review the paperwork you do have on hand and start with the monthly bills (utilities, etc.) and begin data gathering.

I cannot emphasize enough how being proactive will save you grief and additional stress, so if you answered no to any of these questions, please get those answers. If you find this topic stressful, take some calming breaths, do a meditation, do yoga, or any activity that will help you tackle this matter with a clear and calm mind.  Remember be more proactive and less reactive.