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Give Your Spouse the Gift of Financial Information

There are a lot of great things you can give your spouse this year. Wiis, books, DVDs, kisses, coupon books for date nights. And given that it’s December 22nd, you’ve probably already made your purchase. Well, I’m going to suggest a second gift. It’s something I touched on in my post of worksheets for the New Year. It’s a [download#10#nohits].

The worksheet is nothing too fancy, just a Word document (and if you don’t have Word, download free Open Office). But it doesn’t have to be fancy.

This [download#10#nohits] is the answer to that what-ifs you and your spouse/partner sometimes ask yourselves. The what-ifs you don’t even want to consider.

Odds are that one person in your relationship handles the finances more than the other. Or maybe you split it up evenly but don’t get much exposure to the parts the other person handles. Despite handling most of our bank accounts, for instance, I don’t make the car payment. Ever.

But what would I do if Micah weren’t around or weren’t able to communicate with me? It doesn’t have to be something as serious as death…it could be an injury which temporarily incapacitates your partner, or a bad illness. And then death does happen, as much as we can’t bear the thought. Not thinking about it won’t make it go away.

Perhaps you’ve toyed with the idea of writing the information down somewhere, but you haven’t gotten ’round to it. Or your partner showed you how to get into the accounts, but it’s all a dim memory. That’s what the [download#10#nohits] is good for.

It has places for all kinds of information, on everything from simple savings and checking accounts to retirement accounts, long-term loans (car, mortgage), monthly bills (and approximate payments), insurance policies, and anything you want to add.

I’ve included spaces for information like names of financial institutions, account numbers, websites, usernames, passwords, etc. And because it’s a Word document, you can easily copy and paste information to create fields for multiple accounts, you can remove info for irrelevant sections, and add information that wasn’t even asked for. You can create a profile of your unique financial life.

It’s a thoughtful gift, one you can give to each other every Christmas (since you’ll both probably need to work for it). It’s a gift that could make a big difference at a tough or terrible point in your spouse’s life. And it’s not just for your partner. If you’re single, you might want to give a copy to your parents or sibling. While it wouldn’t help them straighten out their lives, it would make it less of a burden to straighten out yours.

Over 500 people have already downloaded the (free, yes) [download#10#nohits]. What about you?

(If this is the only thing you give your spouse/partner this Christmas, please don’t tell them it was my idea.)


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February 4, 2009 at 7:01 am
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August 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lin Burress @Telling It Like It Is December 22, 2008 at 10:15 am

Thank you for this worksheet, and it’s free too!

We never know what the future could hold for ourselves or for our spouse, and it’s so important that spouses know there is a document readily available (and updated regularly) to know what to do in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Not only should husbands and wives have this financial worksheet, but anyone who has an elderly parent or is presently taking care of an elderly parent needs to know all of the information documented on this worksheet. Too many people postpone talking about financial issues until it’s an emergency and then all heck breaks lose. Thanks!

Mrs Micah's Mom December 22, 2008 at 11:12 am

What a wonderful idea!

Carol December 23, 2008 at 10:53 am

Really good idea. This is even more important for non-traditional couples than for “husbands and wives” and should accompany a valid Durable Power of Attorney. Marriage rights cover transfer of assets and this document will really help minimize the chaos. Those without these rights face far greater challenges with the death or incapacity of their life partner. The completion of the document will also encourage people to update beneficiary designations. Thank you for sharing!

mrsmicah December 23, 2008 at 6:23 pm

@Carol,

Great point. This worksheet is actually a great chance or couples to find out what’s in who’s name, whether the account is in trust, and work out wills/powers of attorney/etc that encompass all their accounts.

fathersez December 27, 2008 at 1:11 am

I am still in the process of writing up my final letter, that is suposed to show the details of all my accounts, business dealings and stuff like that.

I have also downloaded your list so that I can refer and update where I may have missed.

Thanks, Mrs. M

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