How to create a financial survival plan

Explain household investments

Suppose your partner has a 401(k) through work, but you manage his account. Your partner may trust you to make these decisions, but he should know what investments you’ve chosen and why so he has a foundation for making his own decisions if necessary.

You might even want to provide sources, like the names of helpful books, that you used in learning how to make these choices.

If you use a financial adviser or attorney, make sure your partner knows who they are, how to contact them, what they do for you and how they are compensated. Make appointments to visit these professionals together, and have them get your partner up to speed on your accounts and other affairs.

It pays to have someone trustworthy looking over your loved one’s shoulder so they don’t make poor financial decisions at a time when they’re overwhelmed, says certified financial planner Steven Elwell, vice president of financial advisory firm Schroeder, Braxton & Vogt in Amherst, N.Y.