This particular question is frequently ignored because it raises the specters of illness and death, which many find difficult to contemplate, never mind discuss with a spouse. However, for practical reasons and in case of emergency, it’s vital that both partners know exactly what key documents say (living wills, etc.), and where important items are located (jewelry, heirlooms, etc.). What’s more, once the subject is broached, it’s imperative to write it all down.
"You want to get everything in writing, and make sure that periodically, you’re going back to review it," says Blayney. She suggests, "once a year, both spouses sit down, have a glass of wine, and update everything."
What should be included in your talk? "In addition to the valuable documents and property, make sure you also include on that list the professionals in your life: CPAs, doctors, etc." Also crucial is electronic access: "It’s become more complicated lately because of the digital assets. Make sure you’re keeping a list of the accounts, the passwords," she advises.