Are you the Chief Financial Officer of your family? Do you pay the bills, organize documents for taxes, and arrange for insurance policies?
If the answer is yes, have you thought about what your family would do if you were no longer able to carry out your CFO duties?
One way to give your family peace of mind is to create a Family Finance Guide. It just may be the most meaningful gift you can give this holiday season.
To start, you'll need to decide what format you want to use to present the information. Some ideas to consider are a three-ring binder, a simple notebook, a flash drive with electronic versions of the documents you'll be creating, or a combination of these methods.
You'll want to include important information that your spouse or other trusted person will need to manage your family's finances, such as:
- Bank accounts - Your list should include institutions, bank account numbers, and the names of the account holders.
- Credit cards - As with bank accounts, your list should include the issuing institution and account numbers. You can include payment info here, or in a separate document.
- Loans - If you have a mortgage, car loan, student loans, or other debts, be sure to list them and include the names of the borrowers, especially if the loan is not in the name of all adults in the household.
- Insurance policies - Be sure to include all of your policies, including those of different types, such as life insurance, disability insurance, auto insurance, homeowner's insurance, etc. List the issuer, the policy numbers, type of insurance, and if applicable, beneficiary.
- Regular bills - This list is probably the one that will be needed the most in the event you're incapacitated, so be sure to keep it up to date. List the bills that you pay regularly, including loans, credit cards, utilities, insurance premiums, property taxes, and so on.
It may take a few hours to assemble all of this information, but having it all in one place will be invaluable to whoever has to step into your shoes if you're incapacitated. Visit Chief Family Officer for templates that can help you get started.