Why each spouse should have account passwords

It is a good idea for both parties of a New York marriage to have access to key financial information. This may also mean knowing how to access a computer or hard drive that stores an account. There are computer programs that can keep passwords stored in one secure location for easy access. However, it may also be a good idea to keep them written down and stored in a secure location as well.

While some may be wary of their passwords being stolen, it is generally worse to not have them written down at all. Not being able to access an account could lead to bills being automatically paid for months after an individual passes on. Furthermore, a lack of access to financial records can make it difficult to file tax paperwork or settle an estate after a spouse passes on.

Financial professionals say that a couple should keep their finances organized. This includes keeping tabs on joint accounts — and checking that they are, in fact, jointly owned. It is also wise for both parties to take an active role in managing bills and financial duties. This could provide good practice should either party need to start handling all of the family finances for some reason.

Individuals will ideally start going through the estate planning process as soon as possible. This may mean reviewing financial records, tax documents and other information that’s relevant for planning purposes. It might also be a good idea to have an attorney help create or review estate plan documents on a periodic basis. Doing so may enable an individual to be prepared for as many different planned or unplanned life events as possible.

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