Dear Husband: What to do if I die!

Posted by Madison on February 28, 2008

Dear Mr. Dupaix,

We have a wonderful marriage and great kids. We found a great way to divide household responsibilities and it works well for us. However, since I handle the finances, there’s some important information you will need. Here’s a guide of what you need to do financially for our family.

As I’ve always handled the finances, it going to be tough, but there are some family and friends that will be able to help you sort it out. Ask one of them to go through this checklist for you to keep our finances running until you are ready to take them over.


  1. Locate the checkbook. I keep money in there to cover expenses.
  2. Open the mail. All of our bills that aren’t paid automatically come through the mail. If you pay what comes in the mail, you will not fall behind.
  3. Use the money files located on our computer. Here’s how I organize the information.
  4. File for life insurance. There is a list of all policies to work from with each company, face value and policy number.
  5. Contact my work. They will continue to pay my paycheck for an extra month.
  6. There is a master key to decipher all account numbers, user IDs, passwords, etc.
  7. Pay off all the credit cards in the arbitrage game.
  8. File for social security survivors benefits for our children.

Here’s some additional information you may need:

  1. Where our safe deposit box is located.
  2. Location of my will.


A reader at Being Frugal reminded me that I needed to write this list for my husband. While the letter is somewhat generic for obvious reasons, it’s a good framework. I plan to make a more detailed list for my husband. Have you made a list for your family?

Here’s some additional resources that will help you put together a list of your own:

This article is featured in the Carnival of Personal Finance.

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Comments to Dear Husband: What to do if I die!

  1. Great post. Just the other day, my wife was asking me to write down all our passwords. I keep meaning to do that and also to insure she knows what to do and whom to call.

    Thanks for the reminder.


  2. Great post, I have been wanting to do something like this. I want to make sure we both have access to all the important stuff in case of loss or emergency.

    Take Care



  3. Excellent post – we’ve had discussions on this but need to follow through with a proper “succession” plan.

    Four Pillars

  4. My boyfriend’s daughter, age 34, died Monday.

    Nobody wants to think about the end of life, but it is inevitable and can be unexpected. Not only have I not drawn up the list you recommend, I have no life insurance, and no will. I am resolving to remedy the situation.

    It’s too tough for grieving survivors if some preparation is not made.


  5. Great article. This isn’t something most people want to think about, but it is something everyone should…


  6. My wife and I went through this kind of thing when we wrote up our wills.

    I have been looking for one thing you have listed. The master key for passwords etc.

    Can you talk a little more about that?



  7. thanks for the reminder, this is something i need to do.

    Pete @ biblemoneymatters

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