Life is unpredictable, and so we strive to secure a financially stable future for our loved ones. We leave no stone unturned to ensure that our family lives comfortably in our absence. A family’s sole breadwinner therefore has the responsibility to prepare the family for any eventuality. Financially, this means sharing critical information with immediate family members, especially the spouse.
How Financial Disclosure Will Help
If you are the sole earner in your family, your spouse can take appropriate steps and decisions in order to ensure your money is used for your family’s crucial needs in the unfortunate event of your death. Take a look at the list of crucial financial information you should share:
Where is Your Money Invested
After your demise, your spouse will need to be in control of the situation despite the emotional turmoil. Armed with information critical to her finance, she will not have to rely on others for financial help. It is advisable to maintain a proper record of all your investments with permissions to your immediate family members to access those records in case of an emergency or any unfortunate incident. Ensure your spouse is aware of your investments in mutual funds, stocks, small savings schemes etc. In this digital era, most records are online, and it is advisable to share your passwords with your spouse along with flagging all the necessary mails in a labelled folder. Do share important details like your PAN number, Aadhaar details. Know-how of your financial portfolio will help your spouse access and manage your investment portfolio effectively in your absence. In case you own a property, share all details of it such as its location, complete and exact addresses, papers related to the property, rent agreements and receipts, water and electricity bill cycles etc.
Insurance Cover You Have Bought
Insurance is an important financial avenue that protects your family from death and disease. A term insurance protects by paying a sum assured to the immediate family members of the insured. You should share the details of your term insurance like the location of the policy document, sum assured and add-on policy numbers, and a general low-down on how to initiate the claim with the insurance company. This would help your spouse initiate a quick and smooth claim in the event of your death.
Your Active Bank Accounts
Share details of all your bank accounts, the balance in them, details of fixed and recurring deposits if any, online passwords, ATM pins, details of lockers, etc. with your spouse. While opening any account, always add a nominee to it and share the details of the same with your spouse. This will ease the process of claiming the money after your demise. Also, do fill the last page of your bank account cheque book, so that your spouse can ascertain who your payees are and what you owe or have paid them.
Keep Your Spouse Informed About Your Debts
The spouse should be informed about your borrowings so that they can be settled after your death. Do let your spouse know about the banks from where you have taken a loan, the loan amount, insurance cover for the loans, any borrowings from friends and relatives etc. You should also make your spouse aware about the interest rate, tenure of the loan, collateral placed for the loan etc. This will help your spouse be informed about what she owes various debtors.
Employer or Business Related Information
If you are a salaried individual, make sure to share important documents that prove employment, PF details, salary bank accounts, company insurance etc. In case you own a business, do share important details related to it. Your spouse should know if your business is a proprietorship or in a partnership. Details of debt taken for this business, and amount invested with the partner should be shared with your spouse.
Besides the above disclosures, do not forget to mention income tax returns filings and other associated tasks to save your spouse from future financial hassles.
The best way to share all the important money related information is through setting up a common platform that can be accessed by you both. It can be in the form of a diary, excel sheet or an online folder with pertinent financial information on your assets, liabilities, investments, insurance, property papers, passwords, login details, bank account etc. And do remember this is not a one-day process. Keep updating your spouse as and when you take financial decisions that can impact your family’s future.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com