Contributed by Carole Topol Orland, Esq. and Christopher J. DeMattie Esq., Family Law attorneys at Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC, in Westport and Greenwich.
Whether divorce or other circumstances – such as illness or death – leave you to independently manage your finances, knowing your family’s finances now will provide you with protection in the future. Depending on the dynamics in your family around financial matters, it may be a difficult conversation to initiate. So, before you get into it, consider the topics below as an introduction to a discussion with your spouse.
How do I determine our family’s living expenses are?
- Review all recurring bills.
- Review credit card and bank account statements.
- Review Amazon account for credit cards on file.
How are bills being paid?
- Understand automatic pay mechanisms from bank/credit card accounts.
- Are checks written from checking account?
- Familiarize yourself with Venmo/Zelle/PayPal.
How do I determine our family’s income?
- Review tax returns before signing-get assistance from your CPA if necessary.
- Review deposits into accounts e.g., payroll, business profits, investment distributions, pension, entitlements, employment equity award proceeds, investment interest and dividends.
- Review Social Security statements.
How do I get a handle on our assets/liabilities?
- Schedule a meeting with your financial advisor or wealth manager.
- Are there cryptocurrency investments? Alternative investments? Private equity holdings?
- What real estate do we own and what are our mortgage terms? Is there a second mortgage on HELOC?
- Review Mortgage/Car/Credit Card Applications.
What else should I know?
- Do we have life insurance policies? Outright or in trust?
- Do we have estate plans? Living wills and healthcare proxies?
- How is our health insurance provided? Employment? Medicare? Private pay?
- Do we have Powers of Attorney drafted?
For more information, or to speak with someone at Broder, Orland, Murray & DeMattie, you can visit them here or call (203) 222-4949.