Estate planning is a matter that all adults need to handle. For women, this need is enhanced because many women, especially older women, might not be aware of the actual state of their finances. There are several things that need to happen so that they can make sure that their affairs are in order.
The first thing that has to happen is that you need to learn about the finances. Find out where investments are held. Figure out where assets and bank accounts are held. While you are at it, make sure that you know the usernames and passwords for applicable online accounts.
Next, you need to make sure that important documents are in the right place. These must be secured so that you know you or your loved ones can access them when the time comes. Ideally, deeds and similar documents will be in a safety deposit box. Wills and other estate planning documents might be kept at your lawyer’s office.
You might consider using a thumb drive to store digital copies of these, as well as a list of places where your assets are held. You can also keep a letter of instruction on this that will outline immediate plans that your loved ones might need right after your death.
Finally, discuss your estate plan with people who are involved in it. You and your husband should talk about the state of your finances. Let your heirs or beneficiaries know what your estate plan includes. These discussions take the guesswork out of what you want when the time comes for them to handle these matters.