So, if I died tomorrow…
If you would prefer to listen to me read this blog post, please click on the play button.
I was out for a walk with my dog the other day (yes I do a lot of walking and running). While crossing the main road I was juggling the dog lead and my phone. I was in the middle of a great podcast and didn’t want to miss a word. I was not concentrating. Before I knew it I dropped my phone in the middle of the road. Like most people I would be more alarmed at breaking my phone than losing my wallet these days.
Instinct made me stop and grab it even though I had vehicles bearing down on me from either direction and a big dog who still had a bit of forward momentum. We all survived but when I made it safely to the other side of the road it got me thinking. What would happen if I had been taken out by Mr Whippy the ice cream truck just then?
Although my husband is interested in what I’m up to with all of our finances, would he know how to step in in my absence? As we live so much of our life online these days would he know where I have our cash stashed? Luckily for him I’m pretty organised. How I go about this is pretty simple really. On my computer I keep a spreadsheet of how our investments are progressing each month. I keep another spreadsheet showing all of our expenses, from Piano lessons to Life Insurance. So he could clearly see what money goes in and out each month. He knows how to find these on my computer.
So, at a glance he can see where our investments and assets are located. It will then be his responsibility to contact all of these entities in order to settle my financial ‘affairs’. This would mean he and my daughter are financially secure moving forward. Phew.
Then on my computer I have email folders where all correspondence for each investment is stored under the appropriate heading. Plus I have a hard copy Investment Folder where he can look up any other information that I have received on each investment via the post.
Finally I have all my passwords securely stored and he already knows where this is. You can store passwords in many places. Your head is a good place to start but by the time you have signed up for 50 different sites, each of which require a different Pa$$-w0rd formula you can and will get confused. I’ve locked myself out of online banking a few times if I’m honest. A physical password booklet is super handy but not overly secure or there are many secure online password sites for you to choose from. Whatever you choose to use, just make sure the person left in charge knows where to look for it!
Now, most of our investments are in my name only (more on why I have done it that way another day) and this could potentially make it problematic should I expire. Everything goes to him in my very up to date Will anyway, it would just take a bit of paperwork and liaising with the investment company to sort it out.
I’m primarily concerned in this blog post about Mr Saver locating where our investments are but when you think about it, each of our digital footprints are bigger than we realise these days. He would also need to close every blog I’m subscribed to, social media accounts I have, subscriptions to various shops and groups... the list goes on. For those of you running online businesses a succession plan is something to really think about. Will you want it to keep running and if so, who is equipped to step in and take this over quickly?
I think I’m going to live a good long while yet but hearing recently about a colleague of my sister being sat on by a horse, putting her into a coma, has really got me thinking about what plans I have in place. She is young, fit, vibrant and healthy and this tragic accident has had a huge impact. Thankfully she is on the path to recovery now but it was “situation critical” for quite a while. I could only imagine that the stress to the family and friends must have been immense.
What if this was me? Could my husband just step in and legally have access to everything? At this time, NO he could not. So, today I have put plans in place to give him Enduring Power of Attorney over me and vice versa. I’m doing this through a lawyer and we will cross our fingers that we never have to invoke it.
So, I’m pretty comfortable that I would not leave a big confusing stressful mess behind for Mr Saver and others to clear up. What is your exit strategy? Is it time to have a chat about things with your significant other ‘just in case’ something happens to you, or them one day?
P.S. If Mr Saver pops his clogs on the other hand then that is the end of this blog, I don’t know the first thing about being a graphic designer, he built my site! Perhaps it is time for me to upskill?
Just to end… if I did get taken out by the Mr Whippy Ice Cream van I want free ice creams for all at my funeral. Chocolate dipped with a flake please! And lots of Central Otago wine for afters…