How to create a financial survival plan

Collect key documents

If you have a trust or estate plan, you've clearly already taken a major step toward protecting your household's financial security. Your partner needs to be aware of these plans, be able to find them and know which financial professionals are helping to manage them.

Also gather copies of wills and advance directives. Make sure they're legally enforceable and up to date. Your partner should also know where to find your tax returns and who prepares them.

One way to ensure your partner can find your documents and that they won’t be lost or damaged is to use a free service like National Will Registry to consolidate and protect your documents. Don’t assume documents stored at home, online, or even with legal and financial professionals are safe and secure.

You and your partner can each create an account naming the other as an authorized person. When one of you dies, the other simply visits the National Will Registry website to claim your documents. National Will Registry (www.nationalwillregistry.com) will verify your partner's identity and your death before granting access.