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Help Your Spouse Prepare for the Unexpected

Financial security of your spouse

When you think about your legacy, you might imagine providing for your children or supporting a favorite charity. As you plan ahead, make sure to consider the financial security of your spouse. Here are some tips to help you develop a proactive strategy.

Make sure both spouses understand the household’s finances

In some relationships, one partner handles the management of all finances. However, it’s important that both partners are fully aware of their financial picture. We recommend the following to prepare for the unexpected:

  • Keeping a record of all financial assets, including investment accounts, life insurance policies and legal documents, and detailing the location of the original documents.
  • Ensuring you and your partner meet regularly with your financial advisor so that both of you are on the same page regarding your finances.

Make your income strategy flexible

You’ll want to consider the impact of a death on your income, spending and assets to make sure you can provide for the needs of the surviving spouse.

For Income Needs:

  • Outline your sources of income, and consider potential tax changes.
  • Consider delaying taking Social Security for the higher-earning spouse in order to maximize the survivor benefit for the surviving spouse.
  • Look into life insurance or a single or joint life annuity to provide a specified income.

For Spending Needs:

  • List your household expenses, both fixed (housing, property taxes, utilities) and those that might decline due to the death of a spouse (food, entertainment).
  • Then review scenarios with your financial advisor to ensure your financial assets and potentially reduced income can support this new level of spending.

For Asset Needs:

  • Review titling and beneficiary designations to ensure a surviving spouse will not only have the financial resources but also the liquidity, access and/or withdrawal privileges to meet his or her spending goals.
  • Determine if there is an asset, such as a business, that the survivor may want or need to sell to provide for income needs.
  • If you have the possibility of a taxable estate, you’ll also want to consider with your legal and tax professionals the trade-offs between a Credit Shelter Trust and using portability provisions.

Contact Andy Stenzel, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones, today to help prepare for the unexpected and ensure both you and your spouse can continue to enjoy life well into the future.



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