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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

When it comes to financial matters communication is key

Gregory A. Lang

While it is important for all to be aware of their financial situation, this is particularly true where women are concerned. In the past, it was not uncommon in marriages for the man to take control of all financial matters, leaving his wife in the dark about the existence of accounts and the amounts contained therein until the reading of the will. While more recent generations have bucked that trend, there are still situations where this is the case. When one considers the fact that statistically women outlive their husbands, this could be disastrous. It is possible that a woman could lose her husband and be completely unaware of couple's financial status.

The best way to address this is of course for couples to be transparent and communicate about finances on a regular basis. While this may not be easy for all couples to do, identifying accounts and providing passwords that may be necessary to access accounts managed online is perhaps the kindest thing you can do for the one you love.

The loss of a loved one is always difficult to deal with emotionally. When those left behind are not aware of the financial situation they are left in, the complications tied to resolving the confusion can make the situation even harder to deal with. By taking the time to discuss a couple’s financial situation and wishes ahead of time and creating an estate plan that mirrors those discussions the loss may be easier to handle. To achieve those goals it is often a good idea to work with an estate planning lawyer.

Source: Forbes, “Preparing For The Unexpected: Why Women Should Take Control Of Their Finances Now,” Ritika Puri, March 17, 2014

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