Picking up Nickels

Monday, September 25, 2006

Are your finances prepared for an emergency?

If you became incapacitated (or worse), how difficult would it be for your family to get a clear picture of your assets and liabilities and assume management of them? A recent article in Parade Magazine (Get Your Finances Organized) got me thinking about this.
If I were to die tomorrow, would it be difficult for my wife to understand our complete financial picture (checking and money market, brokerage, 401k, and IRA accounts, CD's, as well as paper and electronic U.S. Treasuries, mortgage, credit cards, monthly bills, etc.)? Yes, it sure would! That concerns me because even though we discuss our finances frequently, my wife has little interest in the details of our various accounts.

The Parade article recommends creating a "crib sheet" detailing your financial picture. Their article gives a general overview of the information to include on on this crib sheet, but I think a sample document would have made a nice addition to the article.

Fortunately, there are some good resources already out there:

I know that I need to break down and document our personal financial information. It's hard to motivate yourself to do this though when you already don't have enough time to juggle work, life, and family. Once I finally get it done, I will keep copies of it in the fire resistant box we keep at home as well as in our safe deposit box.


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