Everyone who has had to step in and help a loved one knows how difficult it is to make sense of someone else’s finances.
Most couples can remember a time when they needed to access an account but were unable to because it was in the other person’s name. The phone and utility companies don’t care if you are married or on the home title or mortgage.
It will take some time and organization to make it easy for someone to access, but the reality is that for every adult I have worked with, all of your important information can fit into a 2” ring binder. Filing cabinets become organized dumping grounds for our personal papers and most people will admit they often have trouble finding their own information in the system they set up for themselves.
You can download a free guide to walk you through how to organize your binder here. If you want a workbook that will walk you through this process you can find it on Amazon (it’s less than $17).
Having it organized will save you time, and once it’s done, it’s easy to stay on top of the organization. One of the most important things you can do, is to create a simple roadmap of your finances. Many households have multiple bank accounts and often those people who would step in to help don’t know which account the income drops into and which account is step up to pay the mortgage, long-term care insurance, or even auto-pay utilities or other services on which you rely. Here is a simple example:
It’s very basic, but can easily provide you with an easy way to understand your account set up and the interconnections between your financial assets.
Getting this done will benefit you now by saving you time in the long-run, and benefit you later if someone does need to step in and help you.
I started doing this organization when I was caring for my parents. It took me over a year to get a handle on all of the accounts and finances. I wanted to make sure that when my siblings visited, they could easily step in to help me. It was the origin of my business MemoryBanc. I hope you will access the free resources to set up a system that will benefit you and your family. Shared.